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AmaLunchbox: food for thought

Written by Noluthando Mkhize
An innovative project by retail company Game is helping government curb the damaging effects of hunger on the educational development of children.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at the handover of 10 AmaLunchbox kitchen containers in Limpopo. The minister says chilldren’s health is the department’s top priority.Hundreds of schools have benefitted from the AmaLunchbox project, with the latest being those in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking at the handover of 10 AmaLunchbox kitchen containers at Phuthikwena Combined School in Limpopo recently, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said: “Government alone is not in a position to meet all the infrastructure backlogs and needs in schools.

"The new kitchens will assist the volunteer food handlers to prepare the meals and work under pleasant, safe and hygenic contions.

Minister Motshekga said the protection of children’s health was her department’s top priority. “The new kitchens will assist the volunteer food handlers to prepare the meals and work under pleasant, safe and hygienic conditions,” she
added.

Massdiscounters, the holding company that owns Game, donated the latest AmaLunchbox kitchens, valued at R1.6 million. They will be set up at schools in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

The AmaLunchbox programme is aimed at strengthening and enhancing the standards of hygiene and food safety in schools.

Each AmaLunchbox kitchen has either a two- or three-plate gas burner, a double bowl industrial sink with an under-counter cupboard, stainless steel counters, shelving, a serving hatch, two big cooking pots, ladles and tumblers, spoons and bowls.

Game’s Marketing and Customer Director Mark Turner said many children attend school on an empty stomach and this results in their concentration being directed to their next meal rather than the lesson at hand.

“It is a fact that hungry children perform worse in school than their counterparts and they are also more prone to report feeling sick or grappling with behavioural issues. Through the AmaLunchbox project, we aim to curb this pandemic and give the children the ability to give school and learning their best.”

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