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Donation Total: R100.00

Nutrition and wellbeing

Each donation is an essential step towards improving lives

In South Africa, over 1.5 million children under the age of 5 are stunted (have a low height-for-age or are suffering from chronic under nutrition).


This means that almost 3 out of every 10 children in South Africa are already stunted. These children will likely not reach their full growth and developmental potential because of the irreversible physical and cognitive damage caused by persistent nutritional deprivations.

Good nutrition is the foundation of child survival,
health and development; well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in and contribute to their communities. Stunting is associated with poor brain development, which affects a child’s cognitive development, educational attainment and productivity in adulthood which in turn has an effect on the development potential of a nation .


UNICEF South Africa Brief 2020


Programme overview

Many of the babies and children arrive at Hearts of Hope malnourished, failing to thrive and with chronic
medical conditions requiring specialised diets and menus. Each child is assessed on arrival at the home by the
Operations team and together a nutritional programme is developed for them.

We have regular surprise audit visits to check on our cold chain and food management systems.

What we do


Collection of supermarket waste food
Due to our exceptional food storage and food preparation processes, Hearts of Hope is a selected beneficiary of the Woolworths sell-by food programme managed by Food Forward South Africa. We have regular surprise audit visits to check on our cold chain and food management systems. Whilst there is enormous value to this collection, unfortunately it is insufficient to meet our nutritional requirements. As a result, our purchase of food required is still a high cost to the organisation.


Nutritional supplement programme
The needs of the children vary from those who are lactose or gluten intolerant, have chronic eczema and need to have a diet without sugar, dairy and preservatives. One of our babies was unable to retain any baby formula and required expensive specialist medication and formula. In order to ensure her survival, she was provided with the access to medical treatment and all the nutrition she required. Today she is a happy and healthy baby that has met all her milestones.


Additional vitamin support
Many of the children come into our care with having had malabsorption as infants or due to poor nutrition are stunted in their growth. As such meal supplementation and additional vitamin support is essential in order for them to catch up their milestones.
Purchasing food, meal planning and cooking of the meals
Birthday celebrations

Where our food comes from

Food Forward Direct: 5%
Other supermarkets: 70%
Individual/Corporate donations 10%
Hearts of Hope purchases 15%

Nutritional spend breakdown


Mahlatsi - He will bring joy

When we are asked by social workers to receive a child into our care, we are most times given a background report and where possible told their current ‘story’ of what has happened that has led them to be needing our care and protection.

On 18 March 2014, we received a call – a 21-month-old little boy needed to be removed from a ‘place of safety’. Undernourished and neglected, he had kwashiorkor (a severe form of malnutrition). Fortunately, we had space and the answer could be yes, bring him home…

Monitoring and evaluation

Food and Nutrition is one of the domains that is tracked by the Wellbi assessment tool. It is divided into two sub-domains – Food security and Growth and Nutrition. Food security is assured through our nutritional programme. The growth and nutrition sub-domain is monitored by monthly measuring and weighing of the children. The children are assessed by the primary health care practitioner who weighs them, checks their height and measures their head circumference. If the M&E identifies any flags, an additional nutritional programme is developed for each child to ensure their “Road to Health”.

How you can help

There are many ways in which you can help us with our Nutritional and Wellbeing programme

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