Game and Department of Basic Education celebrate delivery of 101st container kitchen to Soweto school
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“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” It is in the spirit of these words from former president Nelson Mandela that Game presented Dikgabane School in Soweto with an AmaLunchbox kitchen today, 30 October.
The handover provides us with an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of needy children in South Africa and celebrate the legacy of a man who has given his life for South Africa and its people, said Game Chief Financial Officer Norman Drieselmann.
The AmaLunchbox kitchen that has been donated to Dikgabane School is the 101th AmaLunchbox kitchen provided by Game, in partnership with Massmart, the Walmart Foundation and the Department of Education. Working closely since 2012, the Department of Education was instrumental in helping Massmart identify needy schools for the 94+ Schools Infrastructure Project launched by Nelson Mandela in the same year. The project is aimed at mobilizing resources and support from various sectors of society to tackle school infrastructure issues at schools that serve South Africa’s poorest communities.
“The spirit of Mandela is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and we hope that, over the past two years, we have embraced this as we have partnered with the Department of Education in its quest to feed hungry children attending schools serving some of the country’s poorest communities,” Drieselmann said.
Game first began the AmaLunchbox project in 2008, and to date the total investment in the mobile school kitchens is just over R9.5 million.
Based on an estimated enrolment of 1000 learners per school with 196 school feeding days per year, the 201 AmaLunchbox kitchens will help serve approximately 40-million hot nutritious meals every school year, boosting their learning opportunities through improved nutrition.
Massmart Chairman Kuseni Dlamini commented: “Good nutrition and successful education go hand in hand – children who walk long distances to school each day without breakfast and then spend hours at school without food find it almost impossible to concentrate on their lessons.”
“Massmart’s chains distribute food and food-related goods, so it made perfect sense to partner with the Department of Education’s National School Nutrition programme. We want to make the greatest positive impact in areas that matter most,” he said.
Since 2008, all of Massmart’s operating divisions have actively been involved in feeding schemes which have resulted in many ongoing projects such as Masscash and Cambridge Food’s Econo kitchens and Saverite’s container kitchens. Including the Game AmaLunchbox project, Massmart has 271 active container kitchens in South Africa.
The innovative AmaLunchbox kitchens, valued at around R120 000 each, feature stainless steel work surfaces, a lock-up pantry, gas cookers, a 48kg gas cylinder, four 100 litre cooking pots, a double-bowl sink and enough bright pink tumblers, plates and spoons for every child.
The kitchens have received a face-lift in the past two years, with a new format being introduced. Needy schools now receive a brand new mobile park home kitchen. These Game AmaLunchbox kitchens provide a dedicated place to prepare and store meals hygienically – a facility which many poverty-stricken schools lack.