Over a million vulnerable school children fed during lockdown

News The South African

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) have announced that they have served over a million meals to vulnerable children in the province through school feeding programmes. 

Despite feeding programmes not usually operating during school holidays, the department has managed to continue serving up hot meals with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing millions of children from receiving meals they have come to rely on.

Combined effort  

The programmes are operating on a takeaway basis, with an emergency protocol put in place to ensure that the children receive their meals while stuck at home awaiting the return of the school schedule. 

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said that the effort was made possible by an array of stakeholders. 

“This is a tremendous achievement, made possible by the school staff, management teams, volunteers, and WCED officials who answered the call to feed vulnerable children,” she said. 

“The WCED could not ignore the impact of the lockdown on the nutrition of school learners who rely on the programme, and we needed to find a way to support these learners.”

‘A massive achievement’ 

She said that Provincial Treasury had contributed funds to the initiative, and was pleased to announce that 1 222 082 meals had thus far been dished up. 

An average of 65 000 students receive food on each of the two days a week that meals are served, she added. 

“This is a massive achievement, especially in the environment in which we all live in now.”

“This achievement lies solely on the shoulders of those who fought hard to get the programme up and running and those that were on the ground ensuring that meals were provided and safety protocols were in place.”

“We are also very grateful to the many organisations, businesses and personal contributions from families and the farming community to supplement meals.”

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Author: Dan Meyer

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