Solidarity Fund and FoodForward SA deliver over 80 000 food parcels
CAPE TOWN - The Solidarity Fund and South Africa’s biggest food redistribution organisation FoodForward SA, which uses mainly surplus food from retailers, has delivered 86 500 food parcels to hungry households in the past ten days.
The organisation’s FoodShare digital platform connects beneficiary organisations to major retail partner’s local stores, including Woolworths, Food Lover's Market and Pick n Pay, to direct surplus food to areas that needed it most.
This helps the suppliers reduce wastage, and they receive a section 18a tax certificate for their donation. Plus, there was an environmental benefit, FoodForward SA managing director Andy Du Plessis said in a statement Thursday.
“With over a third of all food produced in South Africa being dumped in landfill, every ton of food recovered by FoodForward SA removes four tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere,” he said.
In the coming weeks, food parcel deliveries would be scaled up to 150 000 to 250 000 food parcels each month, reaching more than 1 million vulnerable people and initiating large-scale feeding programmes where the need was greatest, he said.
Each food parcel, consisting of a variety of non-perishable groceries and fresh produce, provides a family with food essentials for three to four weeks (depending on household size).
Early in the lockdown FoodForward SA had appealed for R50 million in donations so it could respond to the food security crisis arising from the lock down, and it received R28m in funds and R40m in food support.
This would enable it to redistribute food to thousands more households in the coming months. The organisation increased its beneficiary organisation network from 670 to 1005, and would also shortly be in a position to extend food support to Limpopo Province, and to also collect surplus fresh produce from farmers in that region.
Du Plessis said their target was to increase their impact, while ensuring that everything was transparent, measurable, and within their governance requirements.
“While we have nearly doubled our beneficiary network we ensure efficacy and minimise the risk of corruption by verifying that all food parcels reach their intended recipients. Our beneficiary organisations are required to provide proof of recipient food parcel delivery by recording the name, physical address, identity and cell-phone numbers of each recipient, which we then verify,” he said,
Last year, FoodForward SA distributed 5 115 tons of food, providing 20 million meals.
The Shoprite Group said Thursday it had raised R3m for the Solidarity Group in total, after its customers reached the R1m mark in funds raised for the Solidarity Fund through big and small donations via the group's Act for Change Fund, a till point donation facility. The group matched its customers’ contributions with another R1m.