TO MARK World Food Day, hundreds of kind-spirited Capetonians have opened their hearts and donated non-perishable items to a food collection drive for the less fortunate.

The three-day initiative started on Thursday and ended on World Food Day at the weekend. It was hosted by FoodForward SA, Checkers in the Blue Route Mall at Tokai and the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg.

FoodForward SA managing director Andy Du Plessis said the items collected would be distributed to several organisations, including orphanages, old-age homes, homes for the disabled, shelters for abused women, and children and youth centres.

“We are extremely grateful to the public for showing their support and giving back in this manner,” said 
Du Plessis.

He said the aim of the food drive was not only to collect food for the less fortunate, but also to raise awareness about the plight of the hungry in South Africa and the “dire need for South Africans to get involved”.

“With around 25 percent of our population living without the security of regular meals, and 40 percent to 60 percent of South Africans unable to afford nutritious food, World Food Day, for us, was a day to highlight just how huge the (hunger) problem is and encourage people to unite in the fight against hunger,” he said.

Du Plessis said the food drive and World Food Day was a success for FoodForward SA, and has hailed the people who have come out and dug deep into their pockets to support the initiative. World Food Day is annually marked on October 16 with the aim of highlighting hunger.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele said it was a sad reality that while the number of hungry people in the world was decreasing, it was increasing in South Africa.

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