Gift of the Givers: Don’t panic, food is on its way
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Durban - Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman has urged those living in KwaZulu-Natal not to panic over food shortages.
"There are food stocks in KZN. People must not panic. It was just the logistics that was a problem but there is food and we will get it to you," he said.
While KwaZulu-Natal was under siege by raging riots and looters who bombarded shopping malls and warehouses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, residents were left without basic food staples such as bread and milk.
Deliveries of fresh bread and milk and other produce were halted due to the closure of the N3, the shutdown of a number of production plants and the destruction of warehouses that stored the goods.
Some residents began panic buying.
However, humanitarian group Gift of the Givers has been packing food parcels, sourcing bread and partnering up with other companies to reach communities that were hit by the food crisis.
In an interview in Pietermaritzburg this weekend, Sooliman assured that food was available and stored in KwaZulu-Natal.
He said the main issue was getting the food items to the stores as a number of shops and petrol stations were destroyed in the looting sprees last week.
"The only difficultly we have is getting the food to the areas where the shops are burnt out completely.
"The food is available, trucks are available, people are available," he said.
Gift of the Givers has been rolling out support to the province since Wednesday
Sooliman said the Gift of the Givers will scale up operations now that fuel is becoming more available.
In addition to supporting residents in the affected communities, Gift of the Givers have also provided much needed support to medical personnel who have been hit with food shortages while under intense pressure at hospitals.
Sooliman said that some medical personnel struggled to get to work as their areas were under siege by looters and transport was limited.
In an effort to assist them, Sooliman said they supplied food parcels to last a month so that medical staff could concentrate on their patients and not stand in long queues to access groceries.
So far, they have handed out food parcels to medical staff in Pietermaritzburg and Durban hospitals.
* Contributions can be made into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, ref KZN Crisis.
For tax-deductible, Section 18A certificates please send a deposit slip to [email protected] Details, toll-free on 0800 786 911.