Supporting women in need, FoodForward SA donates food to the PE based women’s shelter, Bet Sheekoom.
Bet Sheekoom is a women in crisis shelter based in Port Elizabeth that receives support and food donation from FoodForward SA. This shelter was founded by Gary and Shelley Koekemoer in 2004 and started out assisting commercial sex workers to exit the sex trade by supplying them with a home, education and counselling. This helped them to become self-sufficient and recover in a safe place.
Bet Sheekoom now looks after and supports women, domestic violence victims, addicts and the homeless. “We house up to 20 women in the residential facility and support between 200 and 300 women within the community,” says a representative. They serve 3 meals a day in-house and when supplies allow 1 meal to those in the community.
FoodForward SA supports Bet Sheekoom by supplying regular food donations. “FoodForward SA food and supplies are essential to our effective operational needs, without these supplies it would mean we would have to drastically cut down on our beneficiaries,” says a representative. With the donations it allows Bet Sheekoom to support both its in-house members and those in need within the community.
Bet Sheekoom is currently in the process of building a new and bigger shelter so they can support more women in need, and don’t have to turn as many women away due to capacity issues. They’re building this property because their current building is 85 years old and in desperate need of repairs, but also they don’t currently own the building they’re in and would like the security of always having a place to support and protect women in need.
“Bet Sheekoom extends a huge thank you for the support and supplies it has received over the years from FoodForward SA. The staff at the PE warehouse are always such a pleasure to work with. They always greet us with a smile and is always so pleasant. They are stars,” says a Bet Sheekoom representative.