The Solidarity Fund has began giving food parcels to more than 250 000 families through out South Africa.
The Solidarity Fund, which earns donations from corporates, citizens and foundations, has made food reliefs worth R120 million available to distressed families.
The Fund is working with the Department of Social Development (DSD), four big non-profit organisations (NPOs) in the food security sector, and also with faith and community-based organisations through out the country to make sure they reach as many people as possible , particularly those in the rural areas.
The Fund will act as a coordinator for the giving away efforts to to increase the chances of everyone getting the food .
Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Solidarity Fund, Nomkhita Nqweni, said the corona virus has increased the difficulty of food insecurity in the country.
“Due to the need to maintain social distancing it resulted in some school feeding schemes and government food distribution centres to close. Put that together with incomes lost because the informal sector is no longer functioning and there is a great crisis.”
“Through continuous involvement with different stakeholders, inclusive of key members of government and civil society, we just have over a week, planned and are exercising a food distribution aid on a larger scale,” said Nqweni on Friday.
The 250 000 households will be connected through a multifaceted strategy. Monies from the Fund will assist in the reactivation of the DSD’s distribution networks, giving relief to at least 58 000 highly vulnerable households, many of which are placed in underserviced locations.
Another 146 000 households will be connected through partnering with the NPOs and also with the help of different faith and community-based organisations.
Food parcels will be given , with the help of private sector logistics, through out the nine provinces during the national lockdown, which is aimed at minimazing the spread of the virus.
The implementation of a voucher system will further stregthen the distribution impact.
The parcels will consist of food essentials which will last the family up to for 2 – 4 weeks, it also vary with the size of the household.
The decisions as to which households will be given the parcels, as well as how the food will reach them , will be made by the DSD, NPOs and faith-based community-based organisations through their established networks.
The Fund and the relevant national and provincial governments, has, however, played a big role role in helping decide the areas for delivery. This is to help to make sure that there is limited repeating of efforts and that underserviced places get the necessary aid.
“Given the scale and difficulty of the crisis, it is very important to note that this is a short-term thing, while a more permanet solution is being developed and put into place by the government and other social partners.”
“We agree that we are being ambitious in our targets, but an issue this big requires bold action and thinking out side the box,” said Nqweni.
The Fund will venture into individual and independent contracts directly with the NPO implementing agents and has sanctioned active monitoring measures to make sure that delivering of the food aid is being done efficiently.
Each of the organisations will give daily reports with information on how many parcels they managed to give out that day , to which areas and using which local community-based organisation, faith-based organisation distribution partners and
“I would also like to thank South Africans for their continued generosity.The Fund currently has R2.3 billion and has been greatly increased by the current donations from the senior public and private sector executives of a third of their salaries,” said Nqweni.