Kellanova sows seeds of hope in Umsobomvu Primary School

Kellanova Corporate Affairs Director Zandi Mposelwa during the launch of “Better Days Promise” garden at Umsobomvu Primary School in Kwa-Thema, Ekurhuleni, on Thursday. Picture: Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Kellanova Corporate Affairs Director Zandi Mposelwa during the launch of “Better Days Promise” garden at Umsobomvu Primary School in Kwa-Thema, Ekurhuleni, on Thursday. Picture: Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Published May 17, 2024


Kellanova is stepping up its efforts to combat hunger in Kwa-Thema, Ekurhuleni, by boosting its support for the local community and Umsobomvu Primary School.

Building on its successful school hunger programme, the company is expanding its initiatives to reach more vulnerable community members and make a greater impact in the fight against hunger.

Kellanova is dedicated to ensuring everyone in Kwa-Thema has access to nutritious food, with a focus on sustainability and equality. This initiative brings hope and relief to the community, particularly individuals, learners and families.

Kellanova’s Corporate Affairs Director, Zandi Mposelwa, on Thursday, emphasised the company’s passion for combating hunger through the “Better Days Promise” gardens.

“We saw an opportunity to support schools and communities in a sustainable way, addressing hunger and making a meaningful impact. We launched this garden at Umsobomvu Primary School in early February and it’s amazing to see how far we have come. We have already had our first harvest and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

“For over a decade, Kellanova has been dedicated to feeding South Africa’s hungry schoolchildren, providing an astonishing 58 million meals to date.

“I visited a community member and saw her garden. She used empty space to grow vegetables. When it was time to harvest, she was so happy to have food for her grandchildren. This garden helps her make her pension money go further. It’s amazing to see our sustainable solutions working exactly as we hoped,” said Mposelwa.

Kellanova’s “Better Days Promise” gardens are planting the seeds of hope and prosperity, paving the way for a brighter tomorrow where everyone can reach their full potential.

Principal Mveli Mgubuli, of Umsobomvu Primary School, believes this innovative programme will be a beacon of light, illuminating a successful future for the students.

“The learners are now eager to attend school daily, motivated by the promise of nutritious breakfast and lunch. Notably, tardiness has decreased, as they arrive early to secure their first meal of the day.

“Moreover, absenteeism has become a rarity, even during periods of minimal academic obligations, as the students are drawn to the reliable provision of wholesome meals.”

Mgubuli hopes to expand the gardening project to involve all parents, currently with 100 participants, to cultivate their own home gardens, providing fresh produce for their families.

“This initiative will have a profound impact on the learners, who will receive nutritious meals both at school and home, potentially inspiring some to pursue agriculture as a career. By engaging the entire school community, the project aims to foster a culture of sustainability and healthy eating,” Mgubuli said.

This innovative initiative aims to tackle the complex issues surrounding food insecurity, well-being, sustainability, equity, diversity and inclusion.

According to Department of Education director, Mahlomola Lebopa, when Kellanova visited their office, they knew they were serious about making a difference.

“While poverty affects many learners, it’s heartening to see initiatives like Kellanova’s making a positive impact. Our national schools prioritise nourishment, sustainability, and community engagement.

“Our gardens will benefit learners, teachers and community members, promoting teamwork and a sense of belonging among learners. By sharing our gardening experiences with neighbouring schools, we can inspire a collaborative approach to addressing food insecurity and fostering a supportive learning environment.”

Lebopa emphasised: "We aspire for all schools to recognize the transformative power of gardening in students' lives. As the Department of Education, we must provide support and address obstacles to ensure schools can maintain their gardens. Let's unite as a community to safeguard our schools, their nutrition programs and gardens, acknowledging the challenges but working collaboratively towards a brighter future for our educational institutions.”

Zandile Neongo, SGB chairperson, praised Kellanova’s partnership, which began with breakfast provision in 2019 and evolved into gardening and nutritious lunch programmes.

“Kellanova empowered the school to take initiative and utilise small spaces, yielding abundant harvests. The collaboration has expanded beyond breakfast to nutritious lunch and community engagement, with learners even snacking on fresh carrots while cooking.”

Ncongo expressed gratitude for Kellanova’s impact, which has inspired dreams of agriculture qualifications for the children.

“The ‘Better Days Promise’ has become a reality, as we say they not only promised but delivered,” Ncongo said.

The Star