Learners benefit from breakfast

2016-10-26 06:00
Learners enjoying breakfast.

Learners enjoying breakfast.

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Children from Upington in the Northern Cape also stand to benefit from Pioneer Food’s daily school breakfast nutrition programme, created for 21 450 kids in five provinces.

Launched last year, the programme – which will cater for 25 schools in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West and Free State – is reported to provide a hearty meal in addition to the lunch provided by the Department of Basic Education’s National Nutrition Programme.

Through a press release, Pioneer Foods highlight that breakfast is not just about getting the day started, but about giving children from families battling to put food on the table, the nutrition they need in order to make it through the school day.

The children of identified schools are all reported to enjoy a healthy start to the school day with a bowl of porridge or cereal. The statement further reads that Pioneer’s school nutrition programme meets a critical need in these areas where rising food prices and the effects of the drought places added strain on communities.

“A key focus of our social investment effort is food security. We seek to address malnutrition, obesity and stunted growth.

“By providing breakfast to the children in need, we hope to enable them to learn to their full potential and lead productive, healthy lives in the future,” said Nico Moloto, corporate social inverstment (CSI) manager for Pioneer Foods.

Most of the rural beneficiary schools have expressed how the programme had made a great difference to them.

They have highlighted their various failed attempts to feed the children due to financial constraints.

“With Pioneer’s programme, the children have breakfast every day and those learners who never used to come to school are now here at 07:00,” one of the teachers, Nandipha Ndleleni, said.

She added that teachers reported a marked improvement in discipline and performance since the nutrition programme was introduced.

“Many of the children in our schools come from extreme poverty, with parents struggling to put food on the table. Pioneer Foods serves these children breakfast to make sure they have the vitamins needed to concentrate throughout the day.”

According to research done by the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, malnutrition compromises cognitive development and children’s immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Pioneer Foods has plans to expand its programme to feed over 25 000 children daily by 2017.

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