School nutrition programme improves children’s concentration
Learners who get free meals at school as part of the National School Nutrition Programme are more likely to concentrate in class, be punctual, attend school regularly.
In the Western Cape, the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) has partnered with the provincial Department of Education to provide food in over 100 schools.
“We have about 114 schools in our programme where we provide breakfast and lunch,” said Charles Grey, the fundraising officer for PFSA, which provides breakfast and lunch to learners.Most children don’t get breakfast at home “and it is difficult to concentrate when you are hungry,” he said.
“It also promotes punctuality, arriving on time in school,” he said as the breakfast is provided at 7h30 and the schools starts at 8am “We train members of the community, usually unemployed parents, to prepare and serve meals at each of the schools and we provide each volunteer with a monthly stipend,” Grey said.
The menu that was designed by the nutritionist, but it has had to be changed because of severe drought in the Western Cape. While they are still serving maize meal for breakfast, they are providing sandwiches instead for lunch.
Grey mantained that the reason they changed the menu was because all the schools they provide with food, on avarage all schools together use 200 000 litres of water per month for cooking, so with the drought in Western Cape they had to change the original menu.
“Some schools are turning off water if there is no water there is no food, and we can’t have our children going hungry because there is no water,” said Grey, who added that all schools together used, on average 200 000 litres per month for cooking.
According to a report compiled by the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute, three out of every four children in South Africa are living in poverty, with approximately 30% of the country’s population experiencing food insecurity.
PSFA Schools Feeding Menu (original menu)
|Maize meal||Maize Meal||Maize Meal||Maize Meal||Maize Meal|
|Pilchards in Tomato||Sugar Beans||Curry Soya Mince||Pilchards in Tomato||Savoury Soya Mince|
|Brown Lentils||Oil||Fresh Carrots||Fresh Cabbage||Fresh Carrots|
|Salt||Fruit in Season||Fruit in Season||Oil|
Temporarily drought menu for lunch
Sandwiches(brown bread) with spread (which ranges from baked beans to pilchards, jam and peanut butter).