When children are too hungry to concentrate on their school work, the chances of them getting anything out of their education are slim. Hundreds of thousands of children in SA receive little food at home and rely on a state-funded lunch at school for their main nourishment of the day. An appalling 21% of all children up to nine years old are stunted by malnutrition. The Tiger Brands Foundation director Eugene Absolom is a first-hand witness to the hunger that is rife in poor communities. Through its countrywide nutrition programme, it serves breakfast to 63,500 pupils every day and closely monitors the effect, providing evidence that the scheme boosts children’s health and their capacity to concentrate. Good nutrition is essential for cognitive functioning. The foundation has conducted three surveys to assess the effect of its programme in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Free State, working with the universities of Johannesburg and Free State. They show conclusively that the nutrition...

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