PICS: NPO distributes more than 140,000 food parcels to vulnerable communities 

The Lunchbox Fund had provided food relief to 572 000 beneficiaries through its partnership with the various organisations.

More than 143 000 lunchboxes have been distributed to vulnerable, food-insecure, and disadvantaged communities across South Africa. The distribution is made possible by the Lunchbox Fund.

The Lunchbox fund was founded in 2005 and has partnered with schools and non-profit organisations to offer a breakfast meal, or daily varied school lunch created from a box of products sent each month and to ensure that child care, stimulation and education are provided alongside the nutrition.

More than 30 000 children in pre-school, Primary and Secondary, in all nine provinces, have benefited each school day from this

A few weeks into Covid-19, the Lunchbox Fund launched the Emergency Food Programme to provide food relief to vulnerable communities. This was during the nationwide lockdown which forced schools to close.

Donations in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Supplied

The fund’s research and strategy director Dr Alison Misselhorn explained non-profit organisations applied for food relief through the Lunchbox Fund to provide vulnerable communities in each province with food parcels.

She said an evaluation was done by the fund before accepting the organisation’s application.

“Our food parcels cater for a family of four and provide a guaranteed meal a day for a month. Each food relief package provides a wide range of macro and micro-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. We include items like maize meal, rice, lentils, samp and beans, soya mince, and milk powder,” Misselhorn said.

Donations in rural Pongola. Photo: Supplied

Misselhorn explained the fund had provided food relief to 572 000 beneficiaries through its partnership with the various organisations.

She said they wished they could do this monthly, but that they depended on donations to purchase the food relief items.

“We have 25 000 families across the country who are still waiting for food relief. We solely depend on donations in the form of money to purchase the necessary food which is packaged and distributed from our factory in Johannesburg. This is then distributed through our logistics partner to the various organisations who then further distribute to the beneficiaries.

“Some of our biggest donors have been the HCI, eNCA, Covid-19 Relief Fund, and the Solidarity Fund – we welcome new donors to partner with us and we can be contacted by visiting our website” Misselhorn said.

Relief packages in the Eastern Cape. Photo: Supplied

Beneficiaries expressed their gratitude with kind words to the organisations for assisting the communities with food relief during this time.

Ashton Gontshi Primary School in the Eastern Cape Principal Ketshem said, “May God bless you for showing such a warm hand through donations of food parcels for the community of Ashton Gontshi. As the school principal educators and SGB at large, we really appreciate the warmth and kindness received from your organisation. Thank you very much.”

Phakama Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal Principal Maphuza said, “I’m requested by the staff, parents, learners, and the community of Phakama Primary School to pass the words of appreciation to thank you for the food parcels. This is huge and made a big difference, may God bless you.”

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