Please tell us about Feed SA?
Feed SA is an NGO that sets up feeding schemes and development projects in informal settlements and vulnerable communities around the country.
As an organization which is already operational in the feeding space, we felt a responsibility to continue with our efforts, but in a more specific way, aimed at the COVID-19 relief efforts. We launched KUNYE in March as a fundraising campaign aimed at providing essential bulk products to our most vulnerable citizens. Our entire organization has been repurposed to provide support for this campaign.
Malnutrition in SA…
A core belief of our organization is that no child can be expected to learn on an empty stomach. Under normal operating conditions (pre-COVID), we provide two meals a day to our beneficiaries which range from creches, school programs, homes for the mentally and physically disabled, to name a few.
We have always aimed to provide well balanced and nutritional meals; a protein, fresh vegetables and a starch source.
We have always, and will always, be in the fight against malnutrition in our country – through the COVID crisis, and beyond.
Malnutrition in hospitals…
I don’t know enough about this to discuss it specifically, but I did read that children are being admitted to hospitals with malnutrition/malnutrition-related illnesses for the first time in many many years!
The COVID-19 crisis has truly affected the most vulnerable members of our society in extremely dire ways. Although lockdown is lifting, the vast majority of people will not recover anytime soon – financially, mentally, physically and with food security.
How has COVID-19 changed the way you usually operate?
The biggest way we have had to adapt is how we distribute our parcels. We ordinarily collaborate with community leaders who are already active and operational in the areas we serve. However, we now not only coordinate with them, but we also ensure we have the correct distribution partners and have notified the appropriate city officials. In some cases, the SANDF has escorted our parcels into the more high-risk zones. Making sure the handouts are orderly, equitable and fair which is a daily challenge.
How are you helping parents with home-schooling?
We have been providing parents in informal settlements with age-appropriate school packs for their children. Home-schooling in these environments is almost impossible because there is no access to electricity, wifi and a lack of parental education. Each pack contains age-appropriate worksheets, exam pads, stationery, books and a small packet of sweets.
Please tell us about your amazing volunteers.
We have collaborated with Thirst Bar Services, who have provided us with much-needed labour and logistics infrastructure. They are an events company whose staff would otherwise be earning a reduced income over this period. We are supporting a casual labour force of 50+ people – value is added to many people’s lives throughout our supply chain.
Anything to add?
Although lockdown is lifting, the devastation it has left behind is going to linger for a very long time. Please continue to keep us in mind! We will continue to deliver for as long as our generous and wonderful donors continue to support us!
How can we help?
Please continue to donate via Payfast or Paypal.
The team: Roxy Priebatsch, Romi Levenstein and Genevieve Solomons