PRETORIA - South Africa’s Department of Basic Education today joins the African Union (AU) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in celebrating Africa Day of School Feeding. The special day was launched last year by the African Union and WFP to recognise school feeding as the world’s most widely-used safety net and the vital role it plays in education.
With the theme of “Home Grown School Feeding: Investment in Youth and Children for Harnessing the Demographic Dividend”, this year’s Africa Day of School Feeding is designed to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, by improving the education, health and nutrition status of school children. Home-Grown School Feeding involves local farmers in producing food that is then purchased for use in school meals, maximizing the benefits for students, farmers and local communities.
Africa Day for School Feeding was instituted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government during the 26th African Union Summit in January 2016 in recognition of the role that Home Grown School Feeding plays in enhancing retention and performance of children in school, and in boosting income generation in local communities.
The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in South Africa caters for primary school and secondary school pupils, providing daily hot meals to over 9 million children in all nine provinces. Each meal served contains protein, starch and a fresh vegetable. The Department of Basic Education also launched the National School Deworming Programme for the first time in February 2016 reaching 5 million learners in quintile 1 – 3 primary schools in improving health and wellbeing. The NSNP annually embarks on advocacy and nutrition education campaigns such as National Nutrition Week, World School Milk Day and also through workshops.
Every day, 370 million children around the world receive food at school provided by their governments. More than half the children assisted worldwide by WFP with school meals live in Africa.
School meals encourage attendance and reduce drop-outs, keeping children well-nourished, focused and healthy, ensuring they become productive adults.
WFP is working with the Government of South Africa on a study commissioned by the African Union to document the impact of school feeding in AU member states. This study will be the entry point for discussing the next steps in scaling up and improving school feeding programmes in Africa.
The NSNP is a leading safety net programme in southern Africa. Both WFP and the Government of South Africa are committed to sharing technical knowledge and best practices from this programme with the wider region.
For more information please contact:
Wanja Kaaria, WFP/AU Liaison Office/Addis Ababa, - Tel : + 251 (0) 91 1505072, Email : email@example.com
David Orr, WFP/Johannesburg - Tel: +27 82 908 1417, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elijah Mhlanga, Basic Education: – 083 580 8275
Released Jointly by the Government of South Africa, WFP and AU