24 March 2021
This year Tiger Brands celebrates the thirteenth consecutive year of its Plates4Days university nutrition programme, which supports some 4 500 students annually at nine campuses across six South African universities.
Students are selected by each participating university to ensure that the programme is fairly managed and reaches those students who would benefit from it the most. Since its inception in 2008, the Plates4Days programme has grown its reach across the country to support the following universities: University of Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand, Nelson Mandela University, University of the Western Cape and the University of the Free State.
The food hampers are designed to sustain each recipient for a full month while they live and learn on campus. With the ever increasing cost for a basic food basket, the nutrition programme provides dietary staples, such as Ace Quick Cook Super Maize Meal, Tastic Rice, Fattis & Monis Macaroni, Koo Chakalaka, Koo Mixed Vegetables, Koo Baked Beans, Pilchards fish and Black Cat Peanut Butter.
“Over the last year we have experienced social and economic hardships beyond comprehension. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many lives, communities and industries. It is during these challenging times that the Plates4days programme has become even more essential in our fight to help alleviate the pressures that many of our food insecure youth face,” says Mary-Jane Morifi, Tiger Brands’ Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.
“Hunger is not just the empty feeling in your stomach, it’s also the feeling that defines your ability to focus and succeed. When I first came to UJ my bursary allowances were delayed, which meant that I had to attend classes on an empty stomach,” says Plates4Days recipient Zakhele Mtshali, who is a third-year Bachelor of Education student at UJ. “Tiger Brands’ Plates4Days Programme changed my situation dramatically. I was now part of a connected group of students and no longer had to worry about where my next meal would come from. It allowed me to channel all my focus on my studies and grades improved drastically,” he continued.
Rose Sendege, who is a postgraduate LLB student at the University of the Witwatersrand, added: “I’ve been part of the Plates4Days programme for several years now, and the consistent support it offers me is tremendously valued. As a result, I am able to concentrate in lectures and participate in campus life fully. The programme has truly changed my life and future for the better.”
“We strive to work with more universities across the country in the future. These partnerships are critical to the ongoing success, and expansion, of this programme. It addresses a critical need in our society: food security and provisions for those who need it most. We need to act together as a civil society to help not only the youth, but our country, to weather the times and emerge stronger, more resilient, nourished and empowered,” concludes Morifi.