Something's cooking in the Pebbles Project kitchen - #wineforgood

The new Pebbles kitchen has the capacity to cook up to 5000 meals per day!

The Pebbles Project’s nutrition programme started in 2014 when the organisation identified that the children attending their Early Childhood Development (ECD) and After-School Clubs (ASC) centres were not receiving the balanced daily nutritional input that they needed in order to learn and thrive. Nutrition interventions at school-age offers direct benefits for school children, because in addition to improving child nutrition and learning, school feeding has been shown to increase concentration in children and improved school enrolment and attendance as children are more likely to go and stay in school.

Pebbles was approached by Stichting Clouds Foundation (Holland) in 2013; who committed to fund their nutrition programme. In 2014 Pebbles began feeding 258 ECD children breakfast and lunch including two snacks daily and the numbers increased to include the ASC children in 2015. The programme has since grown to cater for just under 1000 beneficiary children in 2018.

Until now Pebbles have purchased daily prepared meals from an external service provider, but the dream has always been to own a commercial kitchen where they can prepare high-quality, reasonably-cost and nutritious meals. After extensive research conducted in 2015 and commitment by the Stichting Clouds Foundation & Goede Mensen to fund this huge undertaking, the dream has become a reality!

 “This kitchen is a dream come true, instead of relying on other service providers, we are able to prepare and deliver healthy meals to our children, as well as creating employment for currently 6 employees, with potential to grow in the future.” says Sophia Warner, Founder & Director of Pebbles. “Not only will this facility be a great opportunity for Pebbles to provide youth employment, training and internship programmes but also look towards creating small commercial vegetable gardens next to their learning centres which will supply the kitchen, teaching entrepreneurship, farming and business skills.”

The Pebbles new kitchen has the capacity to cook up to 5000 meals per day, although will only commence with 1300. Healthy meals are cooked daily, blast frozen and distributed to the learning facilities in Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Hermanus, Wellington and Citrusdal. They are also providing meals to two other charities based in Franschhoek and hope to grow this to supply many other NPOs in the greater Winelands area.

The South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES) of 2012 indicates that undernutrition among children is high, with the prevalence of stunting sitting at 27% of children under the age of three. About 6% of children under 14 are underweight and about one in a hundred severely so. Through the establishment of this kitchen Pebbles are prioritizing at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); heeding the call to end hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition.

The official opening of the Pebbles Project Kitchen will take place at Joostenberg Farm, R304, Muldervlei, Stellenbosch (entrance to farm for kitchen, opposite Giraffe House on R101). The programme will start promptly at 12h00.

 If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Charmaine Gola or visit www.pebblesproject.co.za