Using Food to Protect Vulnerable Children

FoodForward SA is helping a KwaZulu Natal feeding scheme nourish its vulnerable community members, one plate at a time.

Research indicates that the first 1,000 days in a child’s development is a unique window of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth and neurodevelopment across the lifespan of a child are established. The right care enables infants to develop well, fuel their physical growth, build a strong immune system and improve their school readiness and educational achievements.

With this in mind, DNA Ministries in Harding, KwaZulu Natal has been focusing on caring for vulnerable children with the help of FoodForward SA.

Partnering for community upliftment

DNA Ministries was established by Pastor Gerrie and Veronica Thomas in 2008, before being registered as an NPO in 2013. They saw a need to help orphans and vulnerable children who roam the streets of Harding looking for food. So, they started feeding these children from their own home.

The feeding scheme soon attracted vulnerable children from the nearby area of Mazakhele, and while more people are fed, they were also taught how to farm. Community members have now learned how to sustainably farm spinach and maize, and effectively taking responsibility for their own food security.

Providing food and doing good

DNA is one of 600 registered NPOs receiving vital food support for their feeding and skills development initiative. The organisation is now able to assist even more people with the help of FoodForward SA. “Without the food donations from FoodForward SA, DNA Ministries would have to reduce the number of people we assist daily and many children and parents will go hungry,” says Pastor Gerrie.