Nonprofit organisation FoodForward SA and supermarket Pick n Pay South Africa joined forces on Mandela Day this year to raise food for some of the 14-million people living in food insecure households.
A total of 151 t of food was collected from various Pick n Pay stores countrywide, which was then moved to packing stations, where over 7 500 volunteers sorted the donated foods. About 600 beneficiary organisations that cater to over 250 000 people will benefit from the food collected.
The FoodForward SA Mandela Day Food Drive in partnership with Pick n Pay, now in its second year, is a national call to action for all South Africans to work together and fight hunger by either purchasing basic food ingredients in any Pick n Pay nationally, as well as volunteering their time packing the food at six different locations nationally, to be taken to FoodForward SA’s warehouses.
The national food drive is growing in popu- larity and has helped stock FoodForward SA’s warehouses across the country with staple foods during winter.
“On behalf of hundreds of thousands of hungry South Africans, we extend our thanks to the thousands of volunteers who came together to fight hunger,” says FoodForward MD Andy Du Plessis.
“For about 14-million people, securing food is a daily struggle, one that leads to compromised nutrition, skipping meals, eating smaller portions and also very common – going without food for days,” Du Plessis adds.
FoodForward is proud that the people of South Africa made a tangible effort to address the needs of fellow citizens, and is inspired by the commitment and spirit of volunteerism on this important day.
“Together, we collected 151 t of food from Pick n Pay stores and volunteers sorted and packed the food across the country, during their 67 minutes,” boasts Du Plessis.
One-third of all food produced in South Africa goes to waste during the course of production, processing, distribution and consumption, due mostly to poor storage facilities, market inefficiencies, and bottlenecks in the supply chain, costing an estimated R61-billion yearly.
“Yet, in the midst of all this surplus, we have a significant proportion of our population living in conditions of food scarcity and insecurity,” says Du Plessis.
Logistics service provider CHEP South Africa, supported the FoodForward SA Mandela Day Food Drive, through its supply of food grade bins to all participating Pick n Pay stores to collect consumer donations, which were centralised into regional hubs for the main Mandela Day sorting and packing events. They also supplied foldable crates to FoodForward SA at the regional packing events to aid in sorting and packing.
“Without CHEP’s equipment and logistical expertise, this would have been a very difficult project to pull together,” suggests Du Plessis.
FoodForward SA also thanked Pick n Pay for their support of FoodForward SA and the national food drive initiative.
“We have a longstanding relationship with FoodForward SA whereby we donate edible surplus food throughout the year,” says Pick n Pay transformation director Suzanne Ackerman-Berman. She says, with the ongoing donations, more than eight-million meals are distributed each year. The FoodForward SA Mandela Day Food Drive is aimed at providing a much-needed boost during the winter months to further support those who have not got access to food on a daily basis.
“We were overwhelmed by the support of our customers and communities in making this a possibility,” concludes Ackerman-Berman.