We start off Unit 5 with a story that encourages you to reflect on a key question: Why should the provision of nutritious food for vulnerable children be a central concern for school management? We look to Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory to understand the link between nutrition and learning. His theory suggests that higher cognitive levels of performance depend on basic needs being adequately met. This is backed up by evidence from research that shows the significant benefits to learners who receive regular meals at school. The importance of meeting a basic need such as food prompted the establishment of the National School Nutrition Programme in South Africa in 1994. Since 2002 this national programme has been the responsibility of the Department of Education.
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