In-school nutrition programmes were significantly disrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Enhanced health and safety protocols placed additional burdens on volunteer food handlers, and many schools struggled to procure the required foods. These challenges resulted in children receiving fewer meals and nutrients through in-school nutrition. The Voice of the Child study, conducted in partnership with the Tiger Brands Foundation, sought to understand, from the perspective of children, how they were affected by the shifts in in-school nutrition programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project undertook comprehensive research methodologies to gather data directly from children, educators, and administrators. This study holds significant importance as it sheds light on the challenges faced by schools and children during these unprecedented times, emphasising the critical role of nutrition in child development and well-being.

The study’s success is attributed to the collaboration between the research team, the Tiger Brands Foundation, and relevant stakeholders. Additionally, presentations of this project at conferences further fostered partnerships and knowledge sharing among professionals in the field.

The study’s findings have been shared at various meetings:
1. Preliminary findings from focus groups with children were presented to the TBF team.
2. Results from the focus groups with children and the interviews with principals, teachers and food handlers were presented to the TBF team.
3. A webinar hosted with various stakeholders with an interest in children, school feeding, and nutrition in South Africa was held in 2023.