Tongaat Hulett, eThekwini municipality donate groceries to child-headed homes for World Food Day
Johannesburg – Tongaat Hulett and the eThekwini Municipality have come to the rescue of child-headed families that always battle to put food on the table by helping them with groceries.
The sugar company and the municipality joined forces to help the less fortunate around Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal in commemoration of World Food Day 2020 which will be celebrated on Friday.
Tongaat Hulett also partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on World Food Day and some of the food parcels were distributed by Minister Thoko Didiza.
According to Tongaat Hulett, the organisers of World Food Day launched a call for all social partners and governments to support the most vulnerable communities and make the food systems more sustainable as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc globally.
In response to this call, together with eThekwini Municipality, they took a decision to partner and focus their support on mainly child headed households.
With the assistance of community-based development workers, they were able to identify children and youth from challenging environments and who also those with limited access to adequate sanitation and water.
It was also found that many of the children and youth were dependent on social grants as well as money sent by their family members or relatives working outside their communities.
Nkonzo Mhlongo, corporate affairs executive of Tongaat Hulett Sugar, said their decision to partner with eThekwini Municipality was to ensure there was no duplication of effort and that their interventions targeted the poorest of the poor.
“This partnership will enable Tongaat Hulett to respond effectively to the significant social challenges in the eThekwini area.
“It has also enabled us to create awareness programmes and support initiatives centered around the prevention of an outbreak of Covid-19 in the local communities and our employees,” she said
eThekwini Municipality’s Sam Maphumulo said that in the second quarter of the year, 2.2-million people lost their jobs in South Africa.
“Covid-19 has imposed a huge burden on communities, particularly child headed households and low-income families, making them vulnerable to household food insecurity.
“World Food Day has given the Municipality the opportunity to partner with companies such as Tongaat Hulett in order to support vulnerable children and households,” he said
*Sipho, one of the beneficiaries of the food hampers said, he was responsible for five children ranging from 4 to 15 years following his mother’s death in 2018.
As he is the eldest child, he had to drop out of school and take care of his siblings.
Although his extended family is around, they also have their own struggles and are unable to help, he said.
“They are all unemployed and certainly could not afford an additional six mouths to feed. I therefore took the decision to leave school in Grade 10 to support my siblings, which I do through fishing and piecemeal jobs. The support from Tongaat Hulett and eThekwini Municipality will take away the stress of wondering where our next meal is going to come from,” he said.
*Not his real name