What a frenetic year it’s been for everyone! Pandemic pandemonium; load shedding; looting and riots; service delivery protests; supply chain disruptions; rising unemployment; decreased disposable income; food price inflation; fuel hikes etc. I’m sure that you can add several of your own personal tragedies and challenges to this list. One wonders just how much more we can take, how close we are to breaking point, and what misfortune will get us there.
In spite of all these negative vibes, there have been the most generous acts of kindness displayed from various sectors that tend to make everything a little more bearable. Also, let’s not forget that South Africans are tough, hard-working, innovative, and resourceful. We are indeed a unique nation in many respects. While we can’t deny that there is still so much that divide us as a nation, we are united in our love for South Africa, we want to see our country thrive, and we are willing to play our part to make this happen.
Speaking about playing our part, on behalf of our board, I would like to thank you –
our donors, partners, suppliers and volunteers – for your support to FoodForward SA during a very challenging and uncertain year. Your generosity has enabled FoodForward SA to scale up significantly in the past 18 months, allowing us to increase our beneficiary organisation network to 1,850 registered NPOs, reaching more than 700,000 vulnerable people daily.
Through our partnership with the Health Department as well as NPOs that have full time nurses, social workers, dieticians etc. who have capacity to identify and assess malnourished children, underweight pregnant and nursing mothers, and child-headed households, we are able to provide thousands of food parcels to targeted food insecure households in need, making sure that we stave off starvation, safeguard people against opportunistic viruses and infections, and rebuild their immune systems. Our grateful thanks to PnP’s Feed the Nation Foundation for sponsoring half the cost of the food parcels.
Although our Foodbanking model is largely dependent on redirected surplus food that we receive from our awesome supply chain partners, thanks to Standard Bank’s OneFarm Share and HelloChoice’s fresh produce contributions, we were able to reach our target of making sure that more than 90% of the food we distributed was nutritious food.
Our reach and impact into vulnerable rural communities is growing fast, thanks to our Mobile Rural Depot programme, so that the most food insecure communities in outlying areas receive the food support they need.
Stats SA recently announced that unemployment has increased to 44,4%, when considering the broad definition. It is almost certain that the pandemic will remain with us for some time, which will undoubtedly impact the poor most severely. For this reason, we will continue with our scaling up efforts, with your support.
As South Africa’s largest food recovery organisation, we have committed to ensuring that we distribute this good quality surplus food in quite innovative ways – by providing it to NPOs that focus on healthcare, education, skills development for youth, and vulnerable women and children. In this way, good quality surplus food is used to strengthen under-served communities.
You are a significant partner in this social ecosystem that is improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each day across South Africa. Thank you!
From all of us at FoodForward SA, we wish you a merry Christmas, a blessed festive season, and a joyous new year. We look forward to engaging further with you in 2022.
Andy Du Plessis