The Cravenby Care Centre in Elsies River said it is unable to provide for the hundreds of people requesting food who gather outside the centre on a daily basis. Picture: Supplied
The Cravenby Care Centre in Elsies River said it is unable to provide for the hundreds of people requesting food who gather outside the centre on a daily basis. Picture: Supplied

Elsies River care centre struggling to provide for hundreds gathering outside daily

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Apr 15, 2020

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Cape Town - The Cravenby Care Centre in Elsies River said it is unable to provide for the hundreds of people requesting food who gather outside the centre on a daily basis.

The centre has seen an increase in the number of people outside its premises since the start of the lockdown. The centre provides shelter for women and child abuse victims, and those affected with HIV-related psychiatric disorders and abandoned children.

The centre’s chief executive Vineshree Naidoo said: “We’ve got abused women and children who we cater for and we’re getting only a certain amount of food from Woolworths, which is just enough for the shelter.

“We don’t get food that we can distribute to the community. What we have done so far was buy food with money from our own pockets.

“These people are not homeless. They have houses in Ravensmead, but they need food. They don’t have food in their houses.”

She said those who had gathered were from Ravensmead, Clarke Estate and the surrounding areas.

“From the shelter’s side we have tried to contact the ward councillor, but she said she doesn’t give out food parcels. She has given me numbers to call and I’ve done that. But those numbers are not working

“There’s just over 100 people who are standing waiting for food. We have managed to make a pot of briyani but we could only feed half the people.”

Bread, polony and juice was purchased to feed the remaining individuals waiting at the centre, she said.

“These people are basically starving at home because of Covid-19. There’s no source of income and there’s nowhere for them to go, because they are being told they do not qualify for food parcels.

“We are just looking for assistance to feed these people because we are not able to do so. Our sponsors give us only a small amount of food for the shelter.

“Last week, Woolworths was kind enough to give two loads of food, so we were able to distribute it to the community. Now they don’t give every weekend, so we can’t feed them all the time. We phone our sponsors and some do assist by buying bread, but it’s coming out of our own pockets now. They are all decent people. They are starving, and it’s not right for us to turn them away. We want to feed these people.”

Naidoo appealed for donations in the form of dry food ingredients so that parcels could be made and distributed to those in need.

Call Naidoo on 0614180006 with any donations.

How to help the provincial department of social development:

Provincial Treasury approved the allocation of R53 million additional funding for emergency food relief programmes that will run across the Western Cape.

Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde previously said: “We know that the lockdown is tough on everyone and is impacting on the livelihoods of many families across the Western Cape. That is why we are working hard to ensure that no-one goes hungry during this difficult time and that we are all able to play our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We have therefore taken a number of emergency steps to ensure our residents get the nutrition they need.”

For information on the Western Cape Government's food relief programme  please phone 0800 220 250 for the Department of Social Development general queries, and

, send a Please Call Me to 079 769 1207, or email [email protected]

Visit the following link for more information on the food relief programme:  https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/news/additional-r53-million-allocated-food-relief-programmes-western-cape

Cape Argus

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