South Africa: FoodForward South Africa’s Breakfasts for Better Days
As of 2019, 51 percent of the population of South Africa suffered from moderate or severe food insecurity and 14 million people faced hunger. Like too many places in the world, children are hit the hardest: More than 3 million children in South Africa experience chronic hunger.
FoodForward South Africa (FFSA), established in 2009, works to decrease hunger in South Africa and reduce food loss and waste. In 2019, through a network of 580 community organizations and with local, community-based resources, FFSA extended the social safety net, ultimately serving 201,000 vulnerable people daily. Since 2013 FFSA has partnered with Kellogg’s South Africa to provide breakfast for thousands of children each school day. In 2019 FFSA distributed cereals and long-life milk to primary and secondary schools in areas of high poverty and unemployment in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth. Each day, 30,035 students at 47 schools received a nutritious breakfast through the Breakfasts for Better Days program.
Healthy breakfasts benefit students and the classroom. A report by the South African Department of Basic Education found that school meals promote school enrollment, punctuality, and attendance.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as schools closed nationally for four months and have gone through a cycle of partial reopening, closing again, and fully reopening, the children of poor households that depend on daily wages are suffering. FFSA works with beneficiary organizations around the country to ensure that children and their families receive food parcels, especially when schools are closed. Through FFSA’s Mobile Rural Depot model, food banks deliver large quantities of food to one beneficiary organization in a rural area where other beneficiary organizations can come and pick up their allotment. This model is key to providing service to children in rural, hard-to-reach areas. From March to May 2020, FFSA almost doubled the number of organizations to which it provides food assistance.