The Foundation was introduced to some of the primary schools in Modimolle in October 2011 through the Department of Basic Education’s annual National Nutrition Week. The in-school breakfast feeding programme began with just 3 schools in January 2012 and expanded to include a further 2 in 2013.
Modimolle is near the southern edge of the Waterberg Massif in Limpopo. Although it is primarily an agriculture and farming district, wildlife & tourism are an integral part of the economy. However, employment opportunities are limited and predominantly seasonal leading to high levels of poverty and food insecurity.
The in-school breakfast programme is currently feeding more 6 000 learners per day. The 5 schools in this district have a large enrolment with each exceeding 1 000 learners making this province the 2nd largest in terms of the TBF breakfast programme.
The schools are located quite close to the town and learners come from the surrounding communities. There is common ground across the schools regarding their challenges and the learners’ home environments.
- The majority of learners live with extended family or a caregiver as parents or guardians have moved to the cities in search of employment opportunities;
- HIV/AIDS continues to negatively impact on the district resulting in a very high rate of Orphans & Vulnerable Children or child-headed households;
- Several principals work very closely with the Department of Social Welfare to ensure social or foster grants are used for the benefit of the vulnerable learners;
- Alcoholism and substance abuse has created a level of dysfunctionality within families;
- Surplus stock from the in-school breakfast feeding is packed into food parcels and shared with the most vulnerable learners at the end of term to ease the burden of ongoing food insecurity.
Like most of the schools on TBF’s in-school programme, there has been an improvement in attendance, reduction in absenteeism and late-comers. Some schools have noticed an increase in enrolment as the in-school breakfast combined with the NSNP lunch guarantees nutritious cooked meals for all its learners. Educators expressed their appreciation as the in-school breakfast programme promotes concentration, better lesson participation, more active and healthier learners.
Overall, there is a spirit of sincere gratitude for the in-school breakfast feeding acknowledging the benefits to all parties concerned (learners, educators and the community as a whole). School governing bodies are engaged and involved with their respective schools to maintain a safe, happy and productive learning environment.