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Citation Information

Type Report
Title Evaluation study of the national school nutrition programme and the tiger brands foundation in-school breakfast feeding programme in the Lady frere and Qumbu districts of the Eastern Cape
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
School nutrition programmes are widely regarded as excellent
interventions to improve the health and well-being of children
living in poor circumstances. They reduce short-term hunger,
improve children’s food security, lead to more effective
short and long-term learning at school, mitigate children’s
vulnerability to stunting, and help manage cognitive delays
associated with malnutrition. They may also help to protect
children from childhood and adult obesity associated with
early stunting and the over-consumption of low-nutrient foods.
In the long-term these gains are believed to have economic,
health, and human development benefits for the population
at large.
South Africa’s National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP)
delivers a cooked lunch consisting of a starch, a protein
and a vegetable, to all Quintile 1 – 3 schools nationally.
These schools service the most deprived communities in
South Africa. The NSNP reaches approximately 8,8 million
poor children daily. The recently introduced Tiger Brands
Foundation (TBF) nutrition programme delivers breakfast in the
form of fortified cooked porridge to approximately 50,000
children nationally, primarily in Quintile 1 and 2 schools. TBF
is a private foundation working in partnership with the state in
all nine provinces to offer this programme.
The NSNP is the second largest state investment into
alleviating the effects of childhood poverty, after the Child
Support Grant, and it has never been assessed for its impact
on anthropometric outcomes, learner performance and learner
attendance. The TBF in-school breakfast feeding programme
was evaluated at its pilot stage (Hochfeld, Graham, Peters,
Patel, Nyathela, Moodley, 2013), but not since it has been
substantially expanded. This study represents the first attempt to
evaluate the outcomes of such programmes, and to assess their
effects relative to one another. The findings point to the positive
and protective effects of both programmes. Such gains should
be celebrated but also need to be corroborated and tested
further. Nevertheless this is a good story that needs to be told.

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