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Closing the Gap: Exploring the Divide Between School Holidays and Hunger

In a world where childhood innocence should be protected and cherished, it is a sad reality that some children face challenges beyond their years. During the Christmas holidays, we had the opportunity to speak with a Grade R child, who spoke about the difficulties she is facing. Her words were simple yet very touching, shedding light on the hidden hardships that vulnerable children face during the school holidays.
  FNB School Shoe Campaign (1)-1

"I don't like the school holidays because I go hungry and sleep without eating a meal," she tearfully shared. These poignant words shed light on a basic necessity that should never be taken for granted, which is access to food. This is also a basic human right. 

This stark reality of facing hunger before sleep serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing inequalities in our society. While many of us indulge in holiday feasts and celebrations, the harsh nightmare of food insecurity continues to plague innocent children, demanding urgent solutions. The heartbreaking reality persists as many children in South Africa endure the pain of going to sleep hungry, grappling with the harsh truth of food insecurity daily.

March 4 Stunting Stats


Alarming statistics reveal that 22.8% of children under 5 years old in South Africa have been affected by stunting in 2022. This shows a slight increase in these stats from the year 2012, which was then 22.5% (FAO, 2023). This stagnant trend shows the pressing need for support and intervention, to prevent any child from experiencing the anguish of hunger or malnutrition.

Starfish's nutrition program, implemented in collaboration with Community Based Organizations (CBOs), is a vital lifeline for children attending Early Childhood Development (ECD). This program ensures that each child receives two balanced, nutritious meals a day, providing essential nourishment for their growing bodies and minds.



From January 2024 to February 2024, a total of 1610 meals were lovingly prepared and served to the children in our CBOs. These meals are not just ordinary dishes; they are carefully crafted to be both nutritious and healthy, tailored to meet the specific dietary needs of young children. Recognizing the crucial role that nutrition plays in the overall development of children, Starfish goes above and beyond to ensure that every meal served is not only filling but also enriching, setting the foundation for a healthier and brighter future for these young children. 


The festive season saw Starfish's nutrition program distributing food parcels to the children, becoming a beacon of hope for these resilient youngsters. This act of kindness and generosity not only filled their empty stomachs but also filled their hearts with gratitude, knowing that compassionate individuals are there to offer support in times of need and reminding them that they are part of a caring community ready to stand by them during challenging times.