There’s good news for the more than 233 000 children across the Western Cape who receive their main meal of the day at school, thanks to Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) in partnership with the Department of Education.
As of May 3, the menus will be changing from a mostly-soya content to a cooked meal five days a week that includes lots of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit.
Although soya mince will still be on the menu twice a week, the new menu will also include pilchards in tomato sauce and Breyani lentils.
Nutritionally balanced meal
"We are excited about being able to offer the children a more nutritionally balanced meal," said Andy du Plessis, PSFA Director. "And we really hope that our donors will continue to support us through the increase in costs which are inevitable with the new menu."
Since its inception over 52 years ago, PSFA has served more than 5 billion meals to hungry children. Born out of desperate calls from school principals faced with children fainting from hunger or high absenteeism due to a lack of food, the organisation has withstood tough times over the decades to daily bring a nutritious meal to pupils across the Western Cape.
School feeding programmes throughout the world have successfully attracted poor children to school and retained them by offering what they would probably not get elsewhere – a nutritious meal.
"We believe it is important to encourage the children to develop good nutrition habits early and we hope the new menu will help with this," Du Plessis said.
233 000 children fed per day
The increase in costs is not excessive. Whereas it was costing R1.20 per day to feed a child, it will now cost R1.90 per day.
PSFA is currently providing daily meals to 233 000 children in 633 schools throughout the Western Cape. The Department of Education generously provides a subsidy for 90% of these children. The difference is covered from funds which must be raised, which costs the PSFA approximately R8.5million annually to maintain. "We invite people to make a real practical difference in the lives of our children," says Du Plessis.
And to current supporters, we would like to thank you and appeal to you to help us meet the increased need by adopting a child for another year.
You too can help
If you would like to help feed our province’s hungry school children, donating is really easy.
"There are two ways to help. You can adopt a child for just R370 a year. That's the full cost of feeding a child for 196 school days. Or companies may be interested in adopting a school: the costs vary according to the number of children who need feeding in each school," Du Plessis said.
Du Plessis is quick to point out that "100% of the money you donate goes to feeding the children. Our administration costs are paid from our investment reserve."
If you want to help, call the PSFA office at (021) 447 6020, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.psfa.org.za for details.
(HIPPO Communications, April 2010)