According to research commissioned by the Shoprite Group, by 2025 nearly half of South Africa’s population will be food insecure.
The retail giant said on Tuesday that by 2025, 48.96% of the South African population may not have enough food to eat.
The research looked at each province and noted that “Limpopo will suffer the worst food insecurity, with 54% of the population not sure about where their next meal will come from”.
The Western Cape and Gauteng will also be hit hard, with 41% of the Cape not having enough food, and 47% of the people living in Johannesburg not having enough food.
Hunger affects urban and rural populations in different ways, according to the research, and varies from province to province.
“For example, in the Western Cape, 13% of food insecure people will be in rural areas and 87% in urban centres. By contrast, 59% of potentially hungry people in the Eastern Cape will reside in rural areas,” according to the research.
THERE IS HOPE
The numbers given by the Shoprite study are grim, but the research does note that “the incidence of people escaping food insecurity is improving”.
It should be noted that in 2022, data showed that 52% of South Africa was food insecure. This number is dropping, and according to the new projections, by 2025, 49% of South Africans will be food insecure.
HOW CAN WE DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE?
“To deal with the problem, we need to better understand it, and the Food Index provides us with some insight. Although the modelling shows an improvement by 2025, the reality is that in two years’ time, just under half the population will still be struggling with hunger. That’s why we must urgently escalate the rate at which people escape food insecurity. Doing so will improve not only their prospects, but that of the country,” according to Sanjeev Raghubir, Head of Sustainability and CSI at the Shoprite Group.
Shoprite hopes that research will also create awareness around food insecurity and the impact it has on a nation like South Africa.
The retail group said that it hopes that South Africans will begin to support initiatives that prioritise poverty and hunger eradication.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
“There are many ways ordinary people can contribute to existing, successful programmes. For example, consumers can donate as little as R5 to the Act For Change Fund at any Shoprite, Checkers, or Usave supermarkets. These donations are distributed to communities through vetted beneficiary organisations, including Rise Against Hunger, Meals on Wheels, Operation Hunger, and more.
“And it’s not only about donating money. Other ways to help could include starting or contributing to a food garden or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Cumulatively, even seemingly small interventions can make a significant difference,” says Raghubir.
LADLES OF LOVE
Another great NGO based in Cape Town is Ladles of Love. The organisation looks at addressing the hunger crisis and food security issues that many homeless people face in the city.
According to the organisation, Ladles of Love is about more than merely providing meals. “It’s about dignity, respect, and creating the kind of world we all want to live in”.
“We provide nutritious and wholesome food available to all. We support our farmers, grow natural, wholesome food in an economical and sustainable way. We empower food entrepreneurs to grow businesses that create jobs and add to the economy of our country,” it said.