The Path From Charity to Profit

By Tina Rosenberg

Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

Indriyati, 31, fed her daughter Aurelia, 20 months, porridge-style chicken and vegetables from the KeBal food cart.

On Tuesday I wrote about Kedai Balitaku, a for-profit company started last year by the development group Mercy Corps in Indonesia. Mercy Corps took this unusual step because it realized that its programs to educate mothers about nutrition were not changing what mothers fed their children. Healthy food is expensive, and the crowded conditions in the Jakarta slums mean that many families have no place to cook or eat. So they buy their children the cheapest street food, which is usually either sweet or deep fried. Kedai Balitaku, which usually goes by the name KeBal, aims to become a chain of street carts selling low-priced healthy food to children.
Read More