Cape Town – Tons and tons of food go to waste unnecessarily while more than 12 million people in the country feel the pangs of hunger every day of their lives. An organisation focusing on rescuing and distributing quality food, wants to help change this situation.
SA Harvest, committed to food rescue, held its launch at the Service Dining Rooms (SDR) on Wednesday on World Food Day, where approximately 100 homeless people were given coffee and a meal.
Chief executive of SA Harvest Alan Browde said: “Statistics reveal that over 13 million people experience hunger in South Africa every day, yet 10 million tons of the food we produce go to waste annually, costing the country an excess of R72 billion. These two irreconcilable realities are the motivation for the founding of SA Harvest.”
Browde added that while there were many people and organisations in South Africa that helped in the rescuing and distribution of food, there wasn’t really a leadership role in alerting the country of the absolute urgency of reducing hunger and food waste. “We are, therefore, passionate about fulfilling this role, along with doing something practical about it.”
Cape Town manager of SA harvest Andrew Wilson said: “We rescue food from the food industry where a lot of food goes to waste. Food that doesn’t get used is collected then distributed to NPOs feeding the homeless.”
Wilson said that the retail “sell by” and “use by” dates resulted in a lot of these foods not being used by the specified date, which eventually get thrown away – a major cause of food waste.
Vida E Cafè was the first sponsor towards this initiative and SA Harvest will collect unused food from more than 14 Vida E Cafès in Cape Town.
Operations manager at SDR, Karen Cain, said: “Organisations such as SA Harvest help with reducing the number of homeless people begging at robots and the occurrence of petty crimes taking place so that they can purchase food. The public is also not always aware on how they can effectively get rid of their food and hopefully this initiative can help educate them.”