School food parcels get Mandela Month under way

30 June 2014

Tiger Brands, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Department of Basic Education, kicked off Nelson Mandela Day Month on Friday with the distribution of over 17 000 food parcels to primary school pupils in Alexandra township in Johannesburg.

Through its Holiday Food Parcel Project, Tiger Brands seeks to sustain disadvantaged pupils through the school holidays, complementing the government’s National School Nutrition Programme, which provides learners at non-fee paying schools with lunch during school terms.

The programme was introduced following a call by Nelson Mandela for a primary school nutrition programme, as thousands of children were arriving at school hungry, compromising their ability to learn. Approximately 12-million daily meals are fed to learners each year through the programme.

“The school holiday food parcel project ensures that the positive gains made by the school feeding initiatives continue throughout the long school holidays,” Alex Mathole, group executive of corporate affairs at Tiger Brands, said in a statement on Friday.

The company has distributed over 46 000 food parcels through the Holiday Food Parcel Project since December 2012.

The food parcels come packed in 20-litre buckets containing oats, maize meal, rice, jam, peanut butter, instant porridge, baked beans, canned meat and sugar beans.

Mathole said the results of independent research conducted by the University of Johannesburg had “measured the impact of the in-school breakfast feeding and revealed that severe stunting was reduced by 7.5% and obesity by around 8% as a direct result of learners receiving well balanced and nutritious meals at schools”.

“This project is part of our drive to tackle food insecurity in a sustainable and impactful manner.”

SAinfo reporter