2nd April 2020 – With the nationwide lockdown in full effect, many families are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place, wondering how they will survive this period and continue feeding their families. If we consider that 60% of children in South Africa live below poverty lines, and an estimated 9 million kids have been affected by the school closures in SA where many of them received their only meal of the day, it makes hunger a very real threat to the future of our country.
“The school closures due to COVID-19, although absolutely necessary, are devastating as many children who were used to receiving a meal a day at school are now going without. This leaves those whose families who have no income, as well as child-headed households incredibly vulnerable – further exacerbating an already dire situation,” says Akhona Qengqe, Chief People Officer at KFC Africa.
In response to this, KFC Africa have- and will continue- to fully mobilise their Add Hope programme and network. Their COVID-19 efforts to date include:
- Distributed over 4,000 emergency food parcels in partnership with Afrika Tikkun, ahead of the lockdown, to families with enough provisions to last them 3 weeks. Some of these areas include Burgersfort (NW), Ga Mashamtane (Limpopo), Olievenhoutbosch, Orange Farm, Diepsloot Alexandra, JHB Inner City, Mfuleni (Western Cape). In Kwazulu-Natal, 1000 Hills Area, the team also distributed 150 big and 300 smaller emergency food parcels.
- Distributed food parcels to over 31,000 people and have had more than 100 staff at various beneficiary organisations working hard to ensure these distributions go out.
- Continue working with its network of beneficiary organisations, as well as authorities, to find ways to safely assist these children, their families as well as others that are in dire need during this time.
- React to reports of where there is increased need and partnering for example with the Department of Social Development to assist 150 homeless children, who were given a safe haven, with meals
- Working with authorities to expand these efforts to as many families as possible in the weeks to come.
Under normal circumstances, Add Hope provides over 30 million meals per year to over 150,000 children– supporting more than 140 different non-profit organisations, who are the implication partners for the Add Hope Funding. These are for the most part, early childhood development centres and school feeding schemes and include several organisations with a national footprint as well as smaller organisations which service specific communities.
“We have a critical responsibility to act in the interest of the South African nation and this means continuing to support the communities which we serve through our Add Hope programme. Today, more than ever, we need South Africa to feel Hope and we will continue our feeding efforts to the most vulnerable in our society,” concludes Qengqe.
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