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Working Together to Ensure Food Security for Local Children

Knysna Education Trust wants to thank each person who donated towards our Mandela Month Campaign. As a community, we are working to ensure that children receive healthy meals to help them grow and thrive.

Principal Magdalena (right) and Teacher Moira (left) were overjoyed to receive a voucher enabling them to feed 41 children for a week

We all know how difficult it is to concentrate when we are hungry. Trying to drive our thoughts away from the kitchen becomes a task and eventually we give in – taking a break to fuel our bodies for the next few hours.

The children in many ECD (Early Childhood Development) facilities face hunger daily. Their parents cannot always afford food, putting the pressure on ECD facilities to provide what is sometimes a child’s only meal of the day.

During our recent Mandela Month Campaign, we called on our community to donate R67 towards feeding a child for a week. Thanks to our wonderful donors the campaign raised enough to feed 41 children warm and nutritious meals for a week. We decided to donate this towards an ECD facility that does not currently benefit from our feeding scheme. 

With more than 70 children attending daily, Principal Magdalena has been an instrumental part of uplifting the community she operates in. Running a soup kitchen with the help of the Rotary Club of Knysna, she provided daily meals to those in need during lockdown. St Patrick’s Magdaleentjie Kindergarden received the Mandela Month Campaign donation in the form of a Pick ‘n Pay food voucher, allowing Principal Magdalena to buy foods to suit her weekly menu. 

It is crucial for children’s development that they receive regular, healthy meals. This helps their bones, muscles and brains grow.[i] The correct nutrition at the right age can positively affect a child’s development all the way into adulthood, impacting their academic performance and going so far as to influence economic growth.[ii]

We are very grateful to our feeding partners – The Rotary Club of Knysna; Le Creuset and e’Pap. These three organisations have collaborated with KET for many years, each year doing more to increase their impact. 

Currently, our feeding scheme supports a total of 177 children – with the Rotary Club of Knysna supporting 25 children and Le Creuset supporting 152 children. On top of this, e’Pap supplies many of our affiliated ECD facilities and SmartStart franchisees with warm, nutritious breakfast every morning.

The impact made by this is profound. Walking into an ECD facility where children are happily being served big plates of healthy food, you can be assured that they are better able to absorb information, make connections with other children and simply feel happier.

Even so, there are still many children who face the threat of malnutrition. Our data suggests that there are at least another 1000 children who need our help. Going forward, we are looking for ways to expand the impact of our feeding schemes. If you or your organisation is interested in becoming involved, please contact our office on 044 382 4638.

[i] Kelly, M., 2020. How Nutrition Impacts Early Childhood Development. [online] study.com. Available at: <https://study.com/academy/lesson/how-nutrition-impacts-early-childhood-development.html> [Accessed 16 August 2022].

[ii] Heckman, J., 2021. Four Big Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Development. [online] Montessori-equity.org. Available at: <https://montessori-equity.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Heckman-Four-Big-Benefits.pdf> [Accessed 16 August 2022].

The children at Little Hearts, a preschool that benefits from our feeding scheme, about to enjoy their lunch