With great power comes a greater responsibility for companies to actively contribute in developing sustainable communities that will lead SA into being an accomplished high-functioning society.
These words were echoed by Tiger Brands’ recently appointed Corporate Affairs Group Executive, Alex Mathole, addressing the community, beneficiaries and stakeholders at an honorary ceremony. The event was held by African Children Feeding Scheme (ACFS) in Soweto, celebrating its 10 year partnership with Tiger Brands, a partnership that has guaranteed more than 31 000 children a daily meal of breakfast, lunch and midday snack. The centre also distributes 1 200 food parcels and assists the community in setting up their own food gardens, as well as entrepreneurial skills.
Established 67 years ago by Bishop Trevor Huddleston as a winter soup kitchen for impoverished children in Alexandra and Soweto, ACFS has expanded to service a majority of Gauteng’s townships and informal settlements, focusing on Feeding, Health Education, Food Gardening, Malnutrition Rehabilitation Programmes and Skills Development.
The event was a celebration of humanity and a demonstration of how we are all part of the solution. One of Tiger Brands’ food parcel beneficiaries, Pamela Mbali Ndlovu shared her emotional journey, a story of hope that had many in tears. “My mother was a single unemployed parent who after receiving food parcels from ACFS decided to volunteer at ACFS Jabavu (Soweto) Centre. Working at the centre, assisting with daily chores, delivering bread to the community and gardening has not only helped her to support us, she herself has regained her pride and strength. I have seen my mother transform into a powerful woman and an inspiration to our community,” said the emotional Ndlovu. “My mother’s strength encouraged me to study harder and to rise above any challenges. Not only am I thanking Tiger Brands today, but I am also blessing them.”
Moses Phiri, also a beneficiary, lost his father at an early age, leaving his mother to raise the family under very dire circumstances. “Tiger Brands and ACFS stepped in to play a fatherly role in my life. They empowered my mother with gardening skills that enabled her to run her own successful vegetable business. My mother ensured that my school progress was never stifled by lack of nutrition. “ Moses continued to pass his matric last year and is now in university, an achievement he attributes to the support system offered he has received at the centre. “It was not easy, but I refused to let my background stop me from going to university and realising my dreams of being a success story.”
Anchoring on Tiger Brands CSI core focus areas of Food Security, Hygiene & Sanitation, Education and Heritage, the partnership with ACFS is more than just food, said Alex Mathole. “It is about the lives of the people we impact. What legacy are we leaving behind, what are we giving, how are we part of the solution? As Tiger Brands we continuously aim to answer these pertinent questions. Our business success is rooted in the people that support our brand, their wellbeing is important to us.”