For the last eight years, Massmart has, through Game and Masscash, provided primary school children across South Africa with the opportunity to receive a hygienically prepared, hot, nutritious meal everyday though its mobile kitchen project.
In 2016, Game invested R1.3 million in the project, providing a further eight schools with mobile kitchens and equipment to make the preparation of these meals possible.
Research undertaken by the World Food Programme has found that the provision of a cooked meal to under-nourished children at schools not only provides more sustained energy, but also results in better school attendance and an increase in classroom participation.
There are currently 300 mobile kitchens in place across South Africa, one hundred of which were supplied by the Walmart Foundation (as part of the Nelson Mandela 94 initiative) and a further 80 were provided by Masscash.
Since inception it is estimated that more than 151 million meals have been prepared in these kitchens, making a positive impact on the education prospects of 200,000 children each year. This is in keeping with Massmart’s social investment focus on education and nutrition.
Each mobile kitchen is fitted with a four-plate gas burner, a double bowl sink, stainless steel counters, shelving, four 100-litre cooking pots, serving spoons, tumblers, plates and spoons for every child.
For Massmart it is not just about providing a hygienic food preparation area but also ensuring that food safety and storage standards are met and sustained, that hot meals are provided regularly and that learners are the recipients of a service that promotes nutrition, education and eating with dignity.
The on-going success of the project is thanks to the ingredients supplied by the Department of Education Schools Nutrition programme and the incredible efforts of the educators and volunteers who prepare and serve the meals.