On 29 January 2021, FoodForward SA launched a pilot food relief project in partnership with Pick n Pay’s Feed the Nation Foundation and the Western Cape Department of Health. On a weekly basis, FoodForward SA receives a list from the Western Cape Department of Health containing the names of vulnerable and immune-compromised patients in need of nutritional support. Feed the Nation Foundation provides 150 food hampers a week, which are packed by Pick n Pay and Boxer stores and distributed directly to patients’ homes by FoodForward SA.
Dr Keith Cloete, head of the Western Cape Health Department, says, “FoodForward SA and Feed the Nation Foundation’s much-needed support will not only bring relief to thousands of families, it will also provide significant relief to frontline healthcare workers to know that their patients are receiving the critical food support needed to build their immune systems.” Suzanne Ackerman, Director of Transformation at Pick n Pay and trustee of the Feed the Nation Foundation, says, “the focus will primarily be on those affected by the Covid-19 virus. However, food assistance will also be given to patients suffering with HIV/Aids and other chronic illnesses who are food insecure.”
The food hampers include maize meal, flour, rice, long-life milk, canned food, lentils/peas, soya mince, peanut butter, jam, sugar, cooking oil and other basic non-perishable items. FoodForward SA will supplement the hampers with additional food products including fresh fruit and vegetables.
The combined effort will result in a total of 1,200 families or 7,200 people accessing nutritious food. Each food parcel will feed four to six people and offers each person one nutritious meal a day for four weeks. Some of the outcomes the pilot project hopes to achieve include improved access to food in vulnerable communities, access to a greater variety of nutritious foods and healthier populations in low socio-economic communities.