The day has become an annual event held in many countries, and the Department of Basic Education marked it for the first time in 2016.
The department’s National School Nutrition Programme supports teaching and learning by providing daily cooked nutritious meals to 9.7 million pupils across the country in 21 274 public primary, secondary and special schools.
“In provinces, World School Milk Day will be celebrated with various dairy companies/milk processors organised by the DBE, Milk Producers Organisation (MPO) and Woolworths.
“Consumer Education Project of Milk South Africa (CEP) will distribute an educational kit for educators that comprises of Teacher Guides for grades 1-3 and grades 4-7, which provide information on the relevant topics and includes worksheets for learners to reinforce the messages,” the department said yesterday.
In the Western Cape, the School Nutrition Programme feeds more than 480 445 pupils who receive two nutritious meals at 1006 schools every day.
This includes more than 400 000 pupils from quintile 1-3 schools, and almost 80 000 from quintile 4-5 schools that serve poorer communities, as well as 26 507 children in the after-school programme.
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the nutritional value of meals has increased since 2011 with the inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned fish and lentils.
It also provides for cooked “hot” meals being served five days a week. There are five different menus for each day of the school week.