EDITORIAL | ‘Slow violence’ of hunger does not wait for government to care
This is not only about children having access to food but access to nutritious food
“Hunger is not a problem, hunger is an obscenity.”
These were the words of judge Sulet Potterill last year when she ordered the education department to roll out the National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to all 9 million qualifying pupils. The feeding scheme had gone awol during the Covid-19 lockdown, a devastating situation for those relying on it for a nutritious meal a day. Potterill described the school feeding schemes as a “life-saving programme for the poorest of the poor child”.
On Wednesday, the Children’s Institute annual Child Gauge report — this year focusing on food and nutrition security — showed just how life-saving the school feeding programmes are. The report is an utterly depressing read, a grim reminder that SA’s children often go to bed hungry at night: one in three children who die in hospital is malnourished, and one in four is stunted...