Emergency feeding underway
9 April 2020
Yesterday, thousands of learners arrived at their schools to receive a much needed meal. It is estimated that close to 100 000 learners were fed.
Principals, SGBs, volunteers and food handlers all came out to assist in this special humanitarian programme, funded through Provincial Treasury.
Strict safety measures were communicated to schools before feeding began. These included ensuring that the venues used met the required safety standards, that all work surfaces were clean and sterilized, and that food handlers and staff were briefed on COVID-19 safety regulations.
Learners are required to queue 1.5m apart, are not allowed to eat at the school and are encouraged to go straight home. Feeding was staggered at some schools throughout the day to avoid congestion.
At Trevor Manuel Primary School, over 1 100 learners were fed. Dr Syms, principal of the school, said that it was a great initiative.
“Our day at Trevor Manuel Primary School started at 06:00 with 24 Volunteers. It was a day well planned and everyone knew his/her duties. This WCED initiative brought smiles to our children. Feeding children. and looking after them is a command of God,” he said.
“We are ready for tomorrow and will step up again for the sake of the hunger.”
Provincial Education Minister Schafer said the decision to initiate emergency feeding was not made lightly.
“This was the most logistically plausible way in which to support as many learners as we possibly can so that our children receive the nutrition they need. For many children, this is the only meal they will receive today. We understand that school staff and volunteers are scared of COVID-19 – as we all are, which is why we have put these measures in place, as per the NICD guidelines. This is a difficult task, but it is an essential one. We are doing this with the best interest of our province’s children at heart.”
The WCED would like to thank all volunteers who are assisting the WCED in this values-driven initiative. The numbers of learners arriving at schools is indicative of the need to be fed.