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FoodForward SA Helps Increase Opportunities for Unemployed Youth

Since its launch in 2019, FoodForward SA’s six-month TETA-accredited Supply Chain Youth Internship, provided by DQ Staffing Solutions, has included intensive experiential, logistics and theoretical training. By using our foodbanking operations, we help lower the barriers that prevent young people from entering the food supply chain industry

Food Heroes in Training

Thanks to the support of our donors and in particular, the Industrial Development Co-operation and Woolworths, we have been able to train 46 interns and absorb 15 into various permanent positions at FoodForward SA. In May, we welcomed our new interns (cohorts 11, 12 and 13) at our Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town branches, respectively interns (cohorts 11, 12 and 13) at our Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town branches, respectively.

From Intern to Staff Member

Sinethemba Daka participated in FoodForward SA’s Youth Internship Programme from May to October 2022 (Cohort 10). As a result of her hard work and dedication, she has been permanently employed at FoodForward SA since January 2023.

“The programme taught me how to put the theoretical knowledge shared during the programme to practice and helped me greatly to gain skills that enable me to be proactive and take charge of various projects and assignments. It helped me a lot, as it gave me a chance to interact with experienced and professional people in the field and learn from them.”

Before joining our internship programme, Sinethemba was self-employed.

“I ran a food takeaway business from home – cooking and selling plates of food in and around my area to teachers, taxi drivers, call centre agents and retail store employees by order. Yes, it was hard labour, but the rewards were so satisfying let me tell you.”

Sinethemba finds joy in her work. “The fact that the food we distribute is still in its healthiest, freshest condition and is meant for the most vulnerable communities affected by the unpleasant conditions of poverty makes me look forward to every day at FoodForward SA.” She hopes to study further and expand her knowledge of the industry so that she can add even more value to FoodForward SA.

Partnerships for Goals

Through our Youth Internship Programme, and with the support of our ecosystem of donors, we not only get the opportunity to help reduce unemployment by providing decent work opportunities for youth, but we also get to align with four of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“It has been an honour to be a partner in FoodForward SA’s Youth Internship programme since its inception. We congratulate all the interns who have progressed through the programme. FoodForward SA is not only addressing food insecurity, through the facilitation of surplus food donations, but also contributes to a sustainable food value chain by providing youth with experience and practical skills in critical aspects of the value chain. This also provides interns in their programme with better prospects for employment. We need more initiatives like this to help address the youth unemployment in our country as we strengthen our food systems and the value chain towards a ZEROHUNGER FUTURE,” says Katy Hayes, Woolworths Corporate Affairs Strategic Programme Manager.

Many of our beneficiary organisations also focus on youth skills development programmes.  To learn more about the non-profits we support, click here:

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