In 2019, it was estimated that there were about 4 862 homeless people in the greater Cape Town area and an estimated 700 in the central business district (CBD). Unfortunately, things have continued to take a turn for the worst, as levels of unemployment rapidly increased and poverty deepened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that by the end of 2021, South Africa’s unemployment rate will stand at 36.989%. These alarming numbers are disheartening, but thankfully there are citizens, companies, and NGOs that are working hard to ensure that those who are in need are provided for in these hard times. 

Food programs and schemes in the Western Cape have made a big difference in the lives of thousands who are not able to provide for themselves or their families due to the level of unemployment, lack of resources, and crime within the province. The main purpose of the food drives is to reduce the high levels of hunger and malnutrition in South Africa. 

Non-profit Organisations(NPO) such as Food Forward SA, Ladles of Love and Breadline Africa have been feeding the mouths of thousands even before COVID-19. 

However, things have not been easy for such organizations since the pandemic hit, as many of them relied on secondary resources such as schools, supermarkets, and restaurants which are no longer able to support their food drives due to the weak economy. 

One of the organizations that were hit hard by the pandemic was Ladles of Love. Before the lockdown was implemented, they were serving over 14 000 meals a month. 

“I didn’t know where I was going to get the money but I knew that we were going to have a crisis and that we had to deal with it immediately because hunger doesn’t wait for anyone”, said Danny Diliberto, founder of Ladles of Love.

Zahirah Benjamin from CapeTownetc spoke to Nicky, founder of #Nocommunityleftbehind, about how they have been surviving since COVID-19.

According to Nicky, “The only way we have been able to survive is to have formed a collaboration with organizations who have the same mindset that we have, namely serving our communities with love”. 

For those who are interesting in helping#Nocommunityleftbehind please contact Nicky on 0728541689. 

In addition to the incredible work by Ladles of love and No Community Left Behind, Food Forward SA recently partnered together with other food schemes and Standard Bank to fight against hunger in South Africa.

The OneFarm Share platform was developed by Standard Bank alongside NPOs and offers farmers a way to assist the hungry crisis in South Africa. In doing so, the farmers will connect with charities that run soup kitchens and food drives in various communities in the country. 

With the continued rise in unemployment and forceful home evictions, NPOs are always looking for extra hands to help feed the homeless. For those who are interested in volunteering or donating, please visit one of the following food scheme organisations listed below. 

Picture: Facebook / Meals on Wheels

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