Mountains of notes and text books, daunting revision schedules, cram classes and burning the midnight oil… all conspire to make the run-up to exam time stressful. Thousands of young South Africans are moving towards the countdown to their matric and the pressure is on. For some, the pressure is exacerbated by them not eating the right ‘brain food’ or getting enough of it. Concentration and energy levels lag and retention of vital facts becomes harder.
The Domino Foundation’s nutrition programme in the South Basin area has come to the aid of 215 Grade 12 students at Mcothoyi Secondary in Umgababa and Umbelebele Secondary in Umlazi. Cheryl Dann, who heads up the programme in the Toti area, said, “Lockdown has made the students’ situation very difficult and so we started feeding these young people when they went back to school. They go to school on a Saturday and that’s when we supply the schools with polony and peanut butter sandwiches.”
Cheryl explained that the brain with its 100-billion cells only makes up only 2% of the body’s weight, but uses 20% of the body’s energy. Carbohydrates, fat and protein are important elements in exam-time diets. Peanut butter is a source of healthy fats and plenty of protein, that she calls “food for thought!” This means that as a brain food, just a little can keep you full for a long time – and their peanut butter ‘sarmie’ gives the students a good helping of essential minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc.
The principals of Mcothoyi Secondary, Thelma Mkhize and Umbelebele Secondary, Sandile Khanyile, agreed that their students have had a very disrupted year and the prospect of writing final exams under such circumstances only adds to the pressure. “Domino’s nutrition programme saw the need for the matric students to be able to maximise their efforts under pressure and the sandwiches are making a significant difference to this very important time before the exams,” said Khanyile.
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Cheryl said she would welcome donations of peanut butter, so that the programme is able to see the students right through the completion of their exams. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 083-201-0554.
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