South Africa's National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP): case study

South Africa's National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP): case study

The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in South Africa is a large government sponsored programme reaching over 8 million learners in primary and secondary schools. The emphasis of the programme is on the provision of the daily balanced and diverse cooked meal, with nutrition education and sustainable food production being the other two pillars of the programme.

The current paper points that the three main objectives of the NSNP are clear and generally well understood by all stakeholders. However, the author finds that:

  • there are indications that the energy value of the meals is inadequate, which will need further investigation/improvement
  • it is possible that the role of schools could be further leveraged to support the health and nutrition of orphans and vulnerable children
  • more attention should be paid on the quality of meals that are served; many schools have very poor equipment for the preparation that impact the quality of the meals served
  • there is room for improvement in the implementation of the NSNP when it comes to promoting sustainable food production in schools and involving small scale farmers

Furthermore, the document recommends that there should be purposeful planning for strengthening and better integration of the three components of the NSNP. In addition, the achievements of the programme needs to be better communicated to politicians, businesses and the general public.

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