Williams Hunt Fourways have partnered with Changing Lives Ministries to feed the children at the Riversands Primary School as their GM Childlife Foundation project. Dealer Principal Stuart Langheim has become a regular at the school, with is located near the townships of Diepsloot and Zevenfontein some 20 km northwest of Johannesburg.
Every Monday morning during school term, without fail, Langheim loads up some of his staff to go feed the children, stopping off at Fruit and Veg on his way, where he collects the weekly produce, including fruit, vegetables and some 1,400 eggs. “I rotate all my staff, so that they each get a turn to come with me to the school and help out,” said Langheim. Langheim also purchased tables and equipment to set up a second feeding line at the school, to help get the food out to the children as quickly as possible, and provided aprons for all the kitchen staff and volunteers. “CLM are currently feeding between 700 and 750 children at the school, three times a week, so it can get a bit chaotic” said Langheim.
Milly Jarvis, who started the initiative after visiting the school in 2005, explained that for many of the children, the meal they receive is the only food of the day and often the only reason for coming to school at all. During 2005 Jarvis, along with volunteers and unemployed mothers of children at the school, opened up the school kitchen after renovating a small 2 roomed farmhouse at the school into an industrial kitchen and served its first hot nutritious meal to the children. CLM fed the children once a week and a few months later increased it to 2 days per week. In 2007 CLM increased the feeding to 3 days per week as Jarvis donated more of her time.
“Due to profound deficits in their diet many considerably lag behind in their physical and intellectual behaviour. Besides, hungry stomachs do not pose a good basis for a successful education,” she said.
In the five years of CLM feeding the children at the school, there has been a huge improvement in the children’s lives.
“The children are no longer sleeping in class and have energy to partake in the different sporting activities the school has introduced over the past five years,” said Jarvis.