West Coast schools receive R737 000 to feed learners for a year

Over 1000 learners on the West Coast will receive nutritious daily meals for one year thanks to donations by the Oceana Group, a major employer in the area, and its long-term partner the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA).

Learners at Masiphathisane Primary School and Louwville High School in Vredenburg, and the HP Williams and EJ Malgarte primary schools in St Helena Bay also received donations of the Group’s iconic pilchard brand, Lucky Star.

Petrina Pakoe, director of the Peninsula School Feeding Association says, “Stats SA estimates that around 8m children in South Africa go to bed hungry, and it’s well-known that you can’t teach a hungry child. For many of the learners at the schools we support, the meals we provide are their main daily source of nutrition.

Oceana Group Executive of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, Zodwa Velleman says, “Based on a study conducted by PSFA, it was noted that children who accept meals from school feeding programs were often stigmatised and would rather go hungry than be teased. We’ve tried to eliminate that by extending the programme to everyone as we found they are all in need, albeit at differing degrees.”

In addition to this, Oceana has provided two of the schools with brand new kitchens and upgraded dining area and plans to donate another to EJ Malgarte this year.

“The fully kitted kitchen, dining facilities and the eating utensils gifted to each student are just the visible parts of the project, but what’s important is the positive impact we hope these will have in bringing dignity to the learners,” Velleman explained.

The menus designed are delicious, healthy meals cooked by local, previously unemployed women who have received accredited training by the Hotels School of South Africa in partnership with the YES Hub in Vredenburg. To date, eight women have been trained and employed.