Facing up to the hard-hitting facts of food insecurity and the life changing service FoodBank SA is able to offer vulnerable individuals.
Fact: Undernourished children experience delays in their physical and mental development, chronic lethargy, trouble concentrating, and weight loss impacts on their immune health.
In a 2013 UK study conducted by Kellogg’s titled “A lost education: The reality of hunger in the classroom,” evidence emerged that if a child arrived at school hungry once a week they would lose 8,4 weeks of learning time over the whole of their primary school career.
For vulnerable children in South Africa it’s not once a week but a reality they may face every single day and, should they survive the ongoing nutritional shortage, the implications on their development, education, future career prospects, general health and social integration are mind boggling.
Fact: Undernourished adults experience weakness and muscle fatigue, chronic tiredness, have difficulty concentrating, have poor problem-solving and decision-making abilities, are sick more often, take longer to heal from injury and infection, are irritable, experience bouts of dizziness, are more likely to experience difficulty finding and holding down work, and have a greatly reduced life expectancy.
Fact: More than 11 million South Africans are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite one third of all food produced in South Africa going to waste. This is partly driven by high food costs, increasing unemployment, and the effects of breadwinners succumbing to HIV/Aids and other debilitating illnesses.
Now for the good news
FoodBank SA is a non-profit organisation focused on providing a cost-effective solution to the problem of hunger by rescuing nutritious, edible surplus food from manufacturers and retailers that would otherwise be discarded for a number of reasons; it is either too close to the sell by date, the packaging is damaged or the product is selling slowly, and redistributes this food to participating organisations that help feed thousands of hungry people daily.
In other words, the work FoodBank SA does is the reason why currently 91,000 people (70% of which are under the age of 35) are served 256,474 meals per week across 341 organisations in five provinces at a cost of only R1,19 per meal.
Thanks to our partners in the retail, manufacturing and agriculture industry as well as caring individual donors, we were able to rescue a total of 3,800,000 kg’s of food between March 2014 and February 2015.
When a meal is a lifeline
A R40 contribution from a FoodBank SA supporter like you can feed an undernourished person for a whole month – bringing hungry people into daily contact with organisations able to offer them the nutritional support they need.
FoodBank SA provides support for organisations that work with orphans, early childhood development, youth development, skills centres, special needs education, rehab facilities, aged care centres, and many more. FoodBank SA centres are currently located in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Rustenburg, with two new virtual food banking programmes operating in Polokwane and Pietermaritzberg. At least 95% of FoodBank SA’s beneficiaries come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. We are actively redressing the inequalities of the past that persist in the present, and building a better South Africa for all.