“The support from local volunteers is amazing, overwhelming!”
Food4Futures (F4F) non-profit organisation founder, Mary Birt, has been providing regular meals for some of Makhanda’s most vulnerable people for just over two years. F4F operates from St John’s Centre in Hill Street and is usually a lifeline for around 50 people.
“We’ve expanded from 50 to 530 parcels a week since 6 April,” Birt told Grocott’s Mail. F4F is now in partnership with the Cathedral’s COVID-CARE to provide food during the current hunger crisis.
Thousands of Makhanda residents have been affected by the national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Informal traders, casual workers and the unemployed have been hardest hit and, unable to feed their families, have turned to various charities across the town for support.
There has been an extraordinary response from residents in the form of donations, as well as hands-on help.
“No fewer than 57 volunteers are shopping for groceries and packing at home or at the venue, supplying lunch for volunteers and distributing food parcels,” Birt said. “There is amazing overwhelming local support.”
Tuesday was a great day for this week’s Food4Futures parcel delivery, Birt said.
“Eight vehicles delivered parcels to people’s homes in many areas in Grahamstown East. We also had collections from small groups we support (six church and community groups.”
Twelve parcels went to the Home of Joy orphanage which houses 32 children.
In mid-April, Food4Futures and the Cathedral’s COVID-CARE started working in partnership and they did their first joint distribution 20 April. Since then, they have handed out 1015 food parcels. Both Food4Futures and the Cathedral’s COVID-CARE work in association with the Makhanda Circle of Unity (MCoU) Food Group.
Last Friday, 8 May, co-ordinator of the MCoU) Food Group Helen Alfers announced that since 11 April, the Makhanda Circle of Unity Food Group (MCoUFG) had delivered 1 725 food parcels to the vulnerable people of Makhanda, was helpig four soup kitchens with money and food items (feeding in the region of 700 people a week); delivered donated bread from Sasko; and distributed 48 food boxes donated by Corona Care to Child Welfare recipients.
Alfers, too, praised the town’s donors and volunteers for their commitment to fellow residents.
“We as a team have been working like crazy to alleviate the plight of people in our city. But we couldn’t have done it without the generous donations from citizens and business people here. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people in this small part of the Eastern Cape,” Alfers said.
The Makhanda Circle of Unity Food Group aims to provide food parcels for 1000 people in Makhanda during the lockdown and recovery periods. Each food parcel costs about R175 to feed a family per week. This costs R700 000 for a month.
You can support these initiatives by donating via Makana Revive’s account:
Makana Revive Trust Standard Bank Grahamstown Bank Code 050917 Account Number 28 315 4012
– For all payments please put the reference: C19 Food Appeal
– Send proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
– If you have any questions please contact Lisa Gaybba on 084 740 6676
If you would like to donate directly to Food4Futures, please visit their website http://www.food4futures.co.za/ or Facebook page for details: @food4futuresgtn
* Post updated to include Food for Futures contact details for direct donations.