In order to fulfill our mission of reducing hunger in South Africa, FoodForward SA employs an integrated food security strategy, which includes our Mobile Rural Depot (MRD) programme, aimed at meaningfully addressing rural food insecurity.
September 2021 was a busier than usual month for our Operations and BO teams, as we launched our 24th and 25th mobile rural depots, in De Aar in the Northern Cape and Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, respectively.
A new mobile rural depot is launched with a small event in the town where the MRD will operate. Vetted and prospective beneficiary organisations (BOs) are invited to attend. A FFSA representative addresses the audience and explains, among other things, how the MRD will operate, emphasising that once a month, our FFSA truck will bring food provisions for each vetted BO to a central location (the “depot”) in the town. Other important issues, such as the unannounced monitoring visits each BO receives quarterly, are highlighted during the presentation.
The MRD programme was launched two years ago and enables FoodForward SA to provide monthly food support to under-served rural communities, without having to set up costly physical infrastructure. What we have found to be very encouraging is that, wherever we set up the MRDs, within six months the number of BOs that we assist in that community doubles, as more people hear about FoodForward SA, more applications are submitted, and this drastically increases the number of people that have access to food.
FoodForward SA’s MRD footprint currently extends across 25 rural communities, each one having being strategically chosen based on their poverty indicators. Thanks to our donors and partners, we are now reaching approximately 150,000 beneficiaries through our MRD programme.