File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Growing risk of hunger for children waiting to go to school, says NGO

By Amber Court Time of article published Jun 13, 2020

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Cape Town – With many pupils still not back in the classroom, those who depend on school-feeding schemes may be at risk of hunger. Many can be found in queues depending on NPOs and local government services for a meal.

Child-focused NGO Molo Songololo said child poverty and hunger has been a problem long before the pandemic.

“Lack of food security, hunger and malnutrition negatively impact children’s health and development,” said the NGO’s director Patric Solomons.

As many as six million children lived in poverty before the pandemic, according to Statistics SA and the Children’s Institute.

“Loss of income, jobs, disruption of piecemeal work and closure of feeding schemes are as a result of Covid-19 prevention measures,” Solomons said.

Older girls had the added responsibility of caring for siblings, cleaning and preparing food, he added. “Some have to acquire money and food to feed the family.”

The provincial department of social development said it has continued to fund early childhood development centres, despite their closure.

“All funded centres remain closed as per the national directive, but food provision has been reactivated,” said Joshua Chigome, spokesperson for the Social Development MEC.

Weekend Argus

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