Food Vulnerability In South Africa

Before COVID-19, many South African households were already burdened with high levels of malnutrition. But then the pandemic came. Lockdown restrictions left many families without income, some without access to social relief support, increasing the number of people not receiving safe, sufficient and nutritious food.


is a condition that arises from prolonged under-nutrition that affects a child’s physical and brain development and robs them of reaching their full potential.

Cocare Maternal Support Study

The optimal physical and brain development of the unborn baby depends on the mother’s intake of safe, diverse, and healthy foods that provide vital macro and micronutrients. However, for many women in South Africa, meeting basic nutritional requirements to ensure a healthy pregnancy is a challenge.


The Grow Great Campaign seeks to galvanise South Africa towards achieving zero stunting by 2030.

Using data to mobilise policy makers, stories to inspire the public, communities of practice to support Community Health Workers and mom & baby classes to support parents, the Grow Great campaign seeks to galvanise South Africa towards a future where no child is unjustly denied the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Annual Report 2022

Grow Great is a national campaign that aims to mobilise South Africa to halve stunting in young children by 2023. Grow Great tackles the drivers of stunting in young children, pushing for national change while supporting local action. 

2022 provided an opportunity for the Grow Great Campaign to drive significant progress towards meeting its Phase I goals. We were granted an extension year by our funders to catch up on targets, making up for some of the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Grow Great and the DG Murray Trust challenge government, manufacturers and retailers to fight child hunger through its recently launched billboard campaign.


Stunting is a condition that arises from prolonged under-nutrition and it affects physical and brain development.

It’s defined as shortness in height for a child’s age and it can only be diagnosed by comparing the child’s measurements to standardized growth charts.

What are the first 1000 Days?

The first 1000 days of a child’s life (i.e. from conception to age two) is an opportunity to establish a foundation for children’s academic success, health and general well-being. However, it is also a period of vulnerability to stunting.

Why are we concerned about stunting?

1 in 4 of South Africa’s children under the age of five years old are stunted. Stunting robs young children from reaching their full potential. Stunted children on average perform worse at school than their non-stunted counterparts, are more likely to be unemployed as adults, are at higher risk of getting diseases like diabetes and hypertension and are vulnerable to being trapped in inter-generational cycles of poverty. This is unjust as stunting is completely preventable.

What prevents stunting?

The first 1000 days of life are a key time for development and growth. Mothers and babies need good nutritious food, high quality healthcare and clean & healthy environments to flourish and grow great.


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