Our School is privileged to be a part of the National Department of Education’s
“Nutrition Programme (A programme which ensures that 9 000 000 learners
receive at least 1 if not in many cases the only meal they will have for
the day). The programme is funded by the National Department of Education;
the funds are utilised by each Provincial Department of Education for all
identified needy schools.
Our school qualifies to be included in the ”Nutritional Programme” as
it falls into the category of being in the Quintile 1- 3 range in terms
of the level of “Poverty” experienced by the surrounding community. Falling
into this category our school is also a non-fee paying school, receiving
an annual financial allocation from the National Department of Education
in order to assist the school in funding the budget requirements (Funds
are therefore also limited – school fundraising can take place, however,
due to the high poverty and unemployment levels of the community such events
can only generate a very limited amount of the needed funds to provide
for all the resource needs of our school).
At our school the “Nutrition Programme” which is highly functional, is
managed by the professional staff but practically carried out by a group
of “Food Handlers” (Generally women from the surrounding community - Some
being volunteers and some receiving a small stipend). The food handlers
are responsible for the daily preparation and distribution of the supplied
food as well as ensuring that the storage and preparation of the food is
done hygienically (We also have a limited supply of running water which
does affect the effective implementation of hygiene protocols).
We have limited storage space for the food stock, and the storage space
for the food is not ideal and therefore not as hygienic as we would like
it to be (Limiting the shelf life of the food as well).
As our “Kitchen Facilities are rather rudimentary, we are therefore reduced
to cooking the daily meal over “Wood Burning Fires” in large metal “Cooking
Pots”. While not only taking long to prepare the surrounding environment
is stripped of wood and air pollution is exacerbated by the smoke from
the daily cooking fires – Gas although an option is also expensive and
can’t always be covered by the finances in our limited budget.
Despite the limitations and facilities the food handlers manage to ensure
that each child receives at least one wholesome, nutritional meal per day.
For many of our learners this is probably the only meal that they will
receive for the day.
As a school community, we have also started a “Food Garden” to supplement
the supply of food from the Education Department. Again the “Food Garden”
is maintained and cared for by volunteers from the community, learners
and staff. Excess vegetables and fruit are shared with the community.
All in all, the “Nutrition programme” is highly functional and works like
clockwork. It ensures that the children/learners are better prepared for
the classroom experience in terms of concentration and energy levels in
general and also enhances both mental and physical capabilities in particular
with an overall improvement in each learner’s psychological well being.
Contact us should you like to get involved in our school’s “Nutrition