Skip to content

An Urban Food Security Solution that benefits Vulnerable Rural Communities

According to the World Food Programme, poor nutrition kills more people every year than AIDS, Malaria and TB combined. Furthermore, 45% of infant deaths are related to under-nutrition, while children in rural areas are worse affected than those in towns and cities.

Traditionally, FoodForward SA’s Foodbanking model has been predominantly an urban-based solution because most of our food donor partners are situated in and around urban business centres. And, in order to gain access to surplus food, our warehouses are situated close to our food donors. Therefore it was more accessible for our beneficiary organisations in poor urban settings to collect food from our warehouses.

In order to increase access to food for people living in vulnerable rural communities and stem the devastating tide of food insecurity and stunting, FoodForward SA implemented the Mobile Rural Depot model. Essentially, the Mobile Rural Depot model allows FoodForward SA to identify vulnerable rural communities, and once a month, using our trucks, we take ample food provisions on a monthly basis to beneficiary organisations that serve the poor in rural communities. This makes our model more flexible when addressing food security amongst the rural poor.

We opened our first Mobile Rural Depot in Worcester in June, where we are supporting 11 beneficiary organisations that focus on education, the disabled, women, and skills programmes. In July we opened our second Mobile Rural Depot in Pietermaritzburg, where we currently serve 5 beneficiary organisations, but there are 15 more in and around Pietermaritzburg that are keen to get involved.

Our plan is to roll out a further 4 – 6 Mobile Rural Depots by the end of the financial year, so that monthly access to good quality edible surplus food is made available to vulnerable rural communities.

The world produces more than enough food to provide for all its people. Yet, malnutrition costs the global economy USD3,5 trillion annually. In South Africa there is an estimated 10mn tons of edible surplus food that ends up as waste. FoodForward SA is the only organisation in South Africa that is specifically set up to access surplus food from the supply chain and redirect this food to registered charities that serve the most destitute people in our country.

Join the surplus food recovery revolution. Visit to learn more about the work we do.

Leave a Reply