One meal could be difference between life and death
Pretoria - Even though feeding 1 million South Africans one meal may not seem like much, for the millions of women, children and men facing food insecurity every day it could be the difference between life and death.
Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director for food redistribution organisation Food Forward SA, said even though they started the journey to combat the widespread hunger alongside partners such as the Food Lovers Market four years prior, the need for such collaboration was needed now more than ever.
He said while a 2017 report had indicated that 14 million South Africans were at risk of food insecurity, Covid-19 had exacerbated the situation to the point where that number had rocketed to possibly 28 to 30 million people at risk.
The reason for this, he said, was due to the fact that it had already cost three million jobs, with things anticipated to get worse in the coming months.
Du Plessis said Covid-19 had literally “pulled out the rug” from the feet of people in the informal sectors and other areas dependent on daily operations to make ends meet.
“We have a situation where there are 18 million people dependent on social grants, and only 10.2 million informal employment.
“The safety of the middle class is also not guaranteed, and there is sure to be more social unrest to be witnessed. At the end of the day, everyone needs to come together.”
For their part, they were focusing on assisting non-profit organisations with programmes focusing on education and skills development, in particular for women and children.
Andrew Millson, the Head of Sustainability for the Food Lovers Market Group, said they were happy that in the four years they had been running the programme, they were finally able to feed 1 million people during the worst crisis of our time, through Food Forward SA.
Millson said although they knew the pandemic would result in more people going hungry, it was the time people admitted what the real problem was.
“If we’re honest the poverty we’re witnessing is a symptom of the prevailing inequality we have, we have to deal with this crisis by not just giving but building our way out of this.”
The initiative to raise 1 million meals forms part of Food Lovers Market Corporate Social Investment programmes for World Hunger Day.
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