IT WAS a case of happiness in every pupil’s bite when one of South Africa’s largest bakery groups, Sunbake descended on the grounds of Diodi Primary School in Mapetla, Soweto to feed learners with a whopping 10 000 bread and peanut butter sandwiches!
Also a case of the rendezvous of the RCL Food brand’s payoff line of, “Happiness in every bite” and the no fee paying institution’s motto of: Our deeds shall speak – the welfare initiative to the 1029 scholar-strong institution was the culmination of a roadshow which witnessed Sunbake delivering a total of 40 000 sandwiches in a single week to communities stretching from Mbombela, Polokwane and Soweto.
Four schools from the three provinces emerged as beneficiaries of Sunbake’s 2019 back-to-school campaign (an annual initiative which closed 31 March 2019) which had participants making use of a unique code found inside Sunbake’s promotional packs to nominate their school to win an equipped prefabricated classroom and a 10 000 stationery voucher as part of their share of R2 million in prizes.
Nelspruit schools, Celani and Tiga, as well as Polokwane’s Nelsonskop Primary School – who were all successful in receiving the most nominations – ended up being handed over three classrooms, together with the R10 000 stationery voucher.
Expressing his personal appreciation for the initiative, Diodi’s principal, Linda Khoza had the following to offer: “I’m very much impressed, checking exactly that we are having learners who are coming from the poor of the poorest … almost 38 percent of our learners are orphans – most of them are staying with their grannies and most of the parents are not working, so most of the learners, some of them go to bed with empty stomachs, they relying mostly on the school’s feeding scheme.”
“Now when you’re having people like Sunbake, then it means now this will also alleviate the problem – it means that now at the end of the day, the question of the academic performance of the learners will be a little bit increased,” Khoza said from his office, surrounded by myriad trophies, the evidence of his charges’ achievements!
Sunbake’s brand manager, Mohammed Gaibee, had this to say amidst the surrounding noise from the children on their break time, “40 000 sandwiches is just a number we thought is reasonable and we can do within the four schools; 40 000 sandwiches is a number of sandwiches we believe that the students and volunteers could make in a day within a reasonable amount of time and it’s a reasonable amount of sandwiches to actually redistribute to feed all the kids in the schools, feed the teachers, feed all the volunteers and what we want to do: feed the surrounding schools, day-care centres and churches.”
To the question whether his entity’s drive was a once-off, Gaibee responded, “Sunbake has always been a brand about youth upliftment and education. The last six years we’ve been running the back-to-school competition and next year again we’ll be running the back-to-school competition,” adding, “we always looking of new ways and means to give back to schools and how can we assist schools – we trying to assist as many as possible, but in South Africa classrooms are being over-populated and that’s why Sunbake took the initiative to actually give the top three schools three classrooms with R10 000 voucher because classrooms around South Africa at least have about 70 students on average.”
5 240 loaves of Sunbake bread and 2 735 kilograms of Yum Yum smooth peanut butter were used all in all – with Gift of the Givers also lending a hand with regard to the distribution of the food amongst communities.
About 164 volunteers wearing hairnets and plastic gloves gathered around rows of tables laden with brown and white sliced loaves of bread and large buckets of peanut butter on Diodi’s grounds to assist in preparing the vital nutritional packages with one of them, 15 year-old Grade 7 pupil at the school, Thabiso Senooe enthusiastically lending his hands to the packaging of the snack onto trays.
With trays filled with neatly packaged sandwiches stacked atop one the other under a branded gazebo festooned with balloons and ready for distribution, teachers saw to the orderliness of the process, with young Grade R scholars from the nearby Harrison Brown Pre-School being some of the first to be attended to.
Spotting green t-shirts, they collected their snacks in files and promptly made way for others following in the expanding queues – all the while, whilst some older pupils surrounded a promotional truck whereat quizzes were being conducted, and with prizes of branded caps and t-shirts on offer.
Image Jacob MAWELA (It was a case of happiness in every pupils’ bite when Sunbake prepared 10 000 sandwiches at Diodi Primary School in Mapetla, Soweto).