An empty tummy is no longer going to stop 2 000 pre-schoolers in Limpopo from playing and learning. This is thanks to the nutritional feeding programme launched in rural villages by Flying for Life and Joint Aid Management South Africa (JAM SA).
In South Africa, malnutrition is associated with more than 60% of child deaths in hospitals. Half of all children live in three of the nine provinces: KwaZulu-Natal (23%), Eastern Cape (14%) and Limpopo (12%) and according to Child Gauge 2013, three-quarters of all children in child-only households live in these same provinces. Using the lower poverty line, over 70% of children in Limpopo and Eastern Cape are poor.
By the end of 2013, JAM SA was feeding 44 373 children in 1 004 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres every school day. With the expansion into Limpopo, as well as the introduction of the Nutritional Feeding programme in East London in January, JAM SA is now reaching nearly 48 000 children with a Red Bowl of highly nutritious porridge every school day. The CSS+ porridge is a blend of corn, soya and sugar, and one 50-gram portion provides 75% of a child’s micro-nutrient requirements.
Flying for Life (FfL) was launched in 2011, and, together with a number of other NGOs and health professionals, is providing much-needed services to underserved communities on the borders of SA. The collaboration with JAM SA will enable FfL to further help the youngest of these communities in terms of nutrition security through the provision of a daily Red Bowl of JAM porridge.
JAM SA will be providing the CSS+ porridge to Ffl, who will be responsible for delivering it to over 40 ECD centres in villages in Limpopo bordering Zimbabwe to the north and the Kruger National Park to the east. Ffl will also complete JAM SA’s monitoring requirements on a monthly basis. In addition, JAM SA will be conducting Body Mass Index measurements on a regular basis to measure the outcomes of the porridge’s nutritional benefits on the children.
“With financial support from KFC Add Hope, JAM SA is now able to reach vulnerable children in Limpopo. As Flying for Life is already working in these villages, our partnership will be able to improve the nutrition of the children through our CSS+,” comments Martyn Foot, JAM SA’s Operations Manager. “The expected outcome is improved nutrition security of these children, thereby contributing to decreased stunting in the area.”