The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) is a government intervention Programme which is intended to address short-term hunger and enhance learning capacity by providing nutritious meals to learners during school hours. For the 2015/16 financial year, the Programme has set a target of reaching 19 800 schools nationally. The schools that are targeted are quintile 1 to 3 public primary and secondary schools, as well as identified special schools as per the Conditional Grant Framework, gazetted in the Division of Revenue Act 2015/16.
The NSNP does not only provide nutritious meals to learners, but also entails Nutrition Education (NE) and the School Food Garden Programme (SFGP). NE advocates for healthy living where learners and school communities are taught the value of making healthy choices. The SFGP aspect of the Programme deals with promoting the development of school food gardens for teaching and learning whilst supplementing the NSNP menu. The Director for NSNP, Ms Neo Rakwena, said that one of the major priorities of the Department is to promote a sustainable and efficient school feeding programme. “This will ensure the continued provision of daily nutritious meals, as well as the effective implementation of the Programme at all levels. To achieve this, capacity building workshops on financial management, sustainable food production, meal preparation and planning are continuously conducted. These workshops are targeting district officials, NSNP co-ordinators, gardeners and Volunteer Food Handlers (VFHs),” explained Ms Rakwena.
“Partnerships continue to play an essential part in the support and implementation of the NSNP. As part of the Minister’s Excellence Awards, the DBE will, during March, host the NSNP Awards, to honour districts and schools that are diligent in implementing the Programme in various South African communities. The Tiger Brands Foundation (TBF) provides breakfasts to selected schools in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng Province, KwaZulu-Natal and the Limpopo Province. Tiger Brands donated a fully equipped kitchen for the winning school, as well as R50,000 for the wining district. Kellogg’s SA provides sixty two (62) schools across seven (7) provinces with breakfast cereal and Nestlé SA supported the celebration of the National Nutrition Week (NNW) during October 2014.”
“In recognition of best practices in implementing the NSNP in schools, the DBE continues to annually recognise excellence in districts and schools to encourage the continuous improvement in the implementation of the NSNP through the new awards. Furthermore, this event also aims to profile the NSNP and to raise awareness of the importance of nourishing growing minds, especially in enhancing their learning capacity. The Department has also observed that in the past, the winning schools’ curriculum performance was outstanding,” Ms Rakwena highlighted.