October 2021 – World Food Day on 16 October marks the launch of an ambitious initiative by FoodForward SA to further reduce hunger in South Africa by ensuring that nutritious food directly reaches the homes of those who need it most.

The Household Food Security Programme will provide nutritious food directly to food insecure households, with a special focus on children suffering from malnutrition, pregnant and nursing mothers, orphans and other vulnerable children, child-headed households, and chronic patients.

The programme will deliver food parcels made up from quality donated surplus food and non-food groceries, supplemented by procured groceries, making the project affordable and sustainable.

“South Africa has a huge hunger crisis, and it’s getting worse,” said FoodForward SA MD Andy Du Plessis. “Around 50% of people can’t afford to buy basic food groceries. There are already around 30 million people in South Africa who are either food insecure or at risk. The Household Food Security Programme aims to identify the most vulnerable households through partnerships with local non-profit organisations that have social workers, nurses, dietitians and other health care workers who conduct client assessments and home visits to identify vulnerable households that are food insecure. Food parcels will then be delivered directly to clients’ homes.”

Du Plessis said FoodForward SA has a vision of a South Africa without hunger.

“Our mission is to reduce hunger in South Africa by safely and cost-effectively securing quality food and making it available to those who need it,” he said. “ We connect a world of excess to a world of need by recovering quality edible surplus food from the consumer goods supply chain and distribute it to community organisations that serve the poor.”

The initiative is made possible by partner donors, which include OneFarm Share (an initiative of Standard Bank), Premier FMCG, Tiger Brands, the Pick n Pay / Feed The Nation Foundation, RCL Foods / Do More Foundation, Nestle and Massmart.

FoodForward SA aims to distribute 15,000 food parcels by February 2022, benefitting around 100 000 people directly.

Beneficiaries of the Household Food Security Programme will also include people awaiting social grants; work-for-food programmes; people living with HIV/Aids; the frail and elderly.

Each food parcel will contain groceries worth around R500, including items such as maize meal, rice, spaghetti, pasta, tinned food, soup mix, lentils, beans, peanut butter, sugar, cooking oil, fruit and vegetables.

Du Plessis said the programme aims to address food insecurity while restoring people’s dignity, improve access to a wider variety of healthy foods in vulnerable communities, and will help build healthier populations in low socio-economic communities.

“Healthier people are less susceptible to illnesses, and more likely to look for work,” said Du Plessis. “With poverty and unemployment at record levels due to the pandemic and the economic slowdown, improving access to safe, nutritious food for vulnerable households is critical for economic growth and social development.

“We believe the Household Food Security Programme is an effective and sustainable vehicle to achieve this.”

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