Feeding a Community: Mothers For Wellington

Mothers For Wellington feeding underserved kids

Mossop Leather (the Veldsoen tannery) provides the primary resources to Ma’s Vir Wellington (Mothers For Wellington). A local group of mothers and local community leaders whose focus is caring, feeding, and teaching 160 critically vulnerable and underserved street children between the ages of 3 and 6 years who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves.

Mossop Leather, in response to the growing climate crisis and the need to empower the local community, has created the “Leatherprint” which is an acknowledgment of the impact we as a species have on the world around us. They, like Veldskoen, believe we have to make our product ethically and sustainably. Mossop Leather is one of the largest employers in the town of Wellington. Thus have the added responsibility to the social welfare of their community, as this, in turn, affects the way they produce their products. 

Mossop Leather has teamed up with Mothers For Wellington to provide daily meals and school shoes to the underserved children in the community.

Mothers for wellington

Nutrition is a key in early childhood educational development 

Advocates of child health and Scientists have studied student diets in other parts of the world for more than twenty years. The studies focused on the benefits of improving the health of students are obvious. Similarly, improved nutrition has the potential to positively influence students’ academic performance and behavior. Existing data suggest that with better nutrition students are better able to learn, students have fewer absences, and students’ behavior improves, causing fewer disruptions in the classroom. 

[1] Studies show that nutrition can directly affect mental capacity among creche with primary school children. For example, iron deficiency, even in the early stages, can reduce dopamine transmission, thus negatively influencing cognition. [2] Insufficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, specifically thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B, iodine, and zinc, are shown to hinder cognitive abilities and mental concentration. Also, amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation can enhance perception, intuition, and reasoning. [4]

Providing a Balanced Diet for Better Behaviors and Learning Environments

Proper Nutrition assists children with starting the day right and ready to learn. A solid nutritional state increases a child's immunity. The child with more durable resistance is likely to have fewer absences when they attend primary school. Studies show that malnutrition leads to behavior problems like drop off in concentration. [7] The outcome of hunger similarly is counteracted when children consume a balanced diet that includes protein, fat, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Thus children will have more time in class. Additionally, a student's behavior may improve and cause fewer disruptions in the classroom, creating a better learning environment for each student in the class. 

The Difference between Good and Bad Diets 

A diet high in processed food at an early age links to a slightly lower IQ when the child reaches primary school level. There is insurmountable proof that the eating habits we practice when young have a long term impact on us. Brain development is much faster in early life, and it's when it does most of its growing. Therefore we must feed our brain with the right type of fuel so the cells can develop and grow at a standard rate [11]

Promote Diet Quality for Positive School Outcomes 

Sociologists, and economists have examined the impact of a children's diet and nutrition on academic and behavioral outcomes carefully. 

The study found that a higher quality diet is associated with better performance in assessment. [8] 

Programs focused on increasing a child's health also show modest improvements in children's academic test scores.[9] Further research found that children's focus and listening skills improved, which had positive results in how they followed instruction and rules. The results meant better results in subjects such as math and science in those children who were on a proper diet. [10]. 

Every student has the potential to do well in school. Failing to provide appropriate nutrition puts them at risk for missing out on meeting that potential. However, taking action today to provide a healthier solution for our children can help to set students up for a successful future full of possibilities. 

In and around Wellington there are adversely high cases of malnutrition young children and Mossop Leather has taken the initiative to help stamp out this growing epidemic.

Further reading on research referrenced in this article 

[1] Sorhaindo, A., & Feinstein, L. (2006). What is the relationship between child nutrition and school outcomes. Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report No.18. Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning 

[2] Pollitt E. (1993). Iron deficiency and cognitive function. Annual Review of Nutrition, 13, 521–537. 

[3] Chenoweth, W. (2007). Vitamin B complex deficiency and excess. In R. Kliegman, H. Jenson, R. Behrman, & B. Stanton (Eds.), Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th edition. Philadelphia: Saunders. 

[4] Lieberman, H. (2003). Nutrition, brain function, and cognitive performance. Appetite, 40, 245–254. 

[5] Benton, D. & Roberts, G. (1988). Effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on intelligence in a sample of schoolchildren. The Lancet, 1, 140–143. 

[6] Kleinman, R., Murphy, J., Little, M., Pagano, M., Wehler, C., Regal, K., & Jellinek, M. (1998) Hunger in children in the United States: Potential behavioral and emotional correlates. Pediatrics, 101(1), e3. 

[7] Jones, T., Borg, W., Boulware, S., McCarthy, G., Sherwin, R., Tamborlane, W. (1995). Enhanced adrenomedullary response and increased susceptibility to neuroglygopenia: Mechanisms underlying the adverse effect of sugar ingestion in children. Journal of Pediatrics, 126, 171–177. 

[8] Florence, M., Asbridge, M., & Veugelers, P. (2008). Diet quality and academic performance. Journal of School Health, 78, 209–215. 

[9] Meyers, A., Sampson, A., Wietzman, M., Rogers, B., & Kayne, H. (1989). School breakfast program and school performance. American Journal of Diseases of Children, 143, 1234–1239. 

Kleinman, R., Murphy, J., Little, M., Pagano, M., Wehler, C., Regal, K., & Jellinek, M. (1998) Hunger in children in the United States: Potential behavioral and emotional correlates. Pediatrics, 101(1), e3. 

[10] Powell, C., Walker, S., Chang, S., & Grantham-McGregor, S. (1998). Nutrition and education: A randomized trial of the effects of breakfast in rural primary school children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68, 873–879. 

[11] Price, J. (2012). De-fizzing schools: The effect on student behavior of having vending machines in schools. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 41(1), 92–99.

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