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Healing Together: LOFDAL and FoodForward SA partnership transforming lives through shared meals

As FoodForward SA commemorates 15 years of making a difference this year, we recently visited one of our longstanding beneficiary organisations (BOs) to discuss the impact of our partnership on the community they serve.

Lofdal International Restoration Centre, in Kraaifontein, provides a sanctuary for people struggling with drug addiction and helps them reclaim control of their lives.

In addition to the rehabilitation programme, Lofdal offers a range of other social services spread across 40 hectares of land, enabling them to run all their programmes from one place.

These services include a baby-saver facility, a foster care programme, a school, a farming project and one of 10 soup kitchens reflecting their commitment to addressing the holistic needs of the community.

HEALING AND MAKING CONNECTIONS THROUGH SHARED MEALS

Pastor Jaco Smuts one of the lead pastors at Lofdal says an initiative which started with a pot of soup from the boot of his car 25 years ago, has blossomed into an organisation where they provide support ranging from rehabilitation to providing warm meals.

“We’re all about restoring dignity and we saw a lot of people scavenging through the trash cans (in the community),” he says.

“We started in Kraaifontein with just a pot of soup out of our cars and that was a good 25 years ago,” he says.

“Within three weeks we had 300 people then we decided to move to this property and see how we can ensure that people can survive on a full stomach. Thanks to our partnership with FFSA we were able to reach our goals.

Jaco, who has been at Lofdal for 27 years, says they feed more than 1400 people twice a week from their main campus.

“We’ve got 10 soup kitchens that we support, with this being our main campus,” he says.

“Every Monday and Wednesday we prepare massive pots of food for the 300 beneficiaries we serve. We don’t prepare soup we prepare hearty, nutritious stews.

“Most of what we get from FFSA goes into the pots and (FFSA) helps us create a space where people can sit and eat.

RESTORING HUMAN DIGNITY THROUGH CONNECTION

Jaco says he wants to create a dining space for their beneficiaries where they can sit and enjoy their meals with each other. 

“My other main focus is to bring the kitchen closer and have a dining hall where our beneficiaries get the opportunity just to sit,” he says.

“We want to move away from people waiting in long lines because that just depletes human dignity.

“We want to have people seated in a space where they can converse with each other while having their meals.

“At LOFDAL we believe there’s no better way to connect and reconcile other than food.

“Reconciliation is what we’re trying to inspire our people to live by. Get a table, sit around with family, have a meal and that is the story and successes of FoodForward SA.”

 Donate to FoodForward SA and contribute toward sustaining organisations like Lofdal, where a nutritious meal forms a vital part of their journey to recovery.

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