Full tummies for patients

2016-06-21 06:00

She hands out food to sick patients every week and does it because she was “called to do so”.

Freda Arends takes up her position at the Lotus River Hospital in Anita Road every week to provide sandwiches “with nice fillings because I enjoy something nice on my bread too”.

And to laud her efforts and selfless acts of philanthropism, Arends was awarded a Civic Recognition Award on Tuesday 14 June.

“It all started during 2007 when my husband fell sick and I went to the hospital with him and saw people sitting there all day without food. I woke up one morning and a voice came very clearly to me that said ‘go feed my people’,” Arends says.

The God-fearing woman says she listened to the voice that came to her and decided to start making sandwiches for people at the hospital on days that her husband didn’t even have an appointment.

“When I started with this initiative, I asked the hospital staff if I may hand out the sandwiches I made of two loaves of bread. They gave me the go-ahead and since then I have been feeding patients at the hospital on a weekly basis. For a while I even served tea and coffee at the hospital but that did not go too well as it wasn’t sustainable. Instead I made big pots of soup for the patients,” she says.

Since then, Arends has become an all too familiar face at the hospital.

“On some days I just felt like I didn’t know where the bread would come from. There was a day where I felt so lost and didn't know if there would be bread for the next day to serve at the hospital. Later that day a boy came up to me at home with two bags in his hands and asked me where he could find miss Arends, and I told him he was looking at her,” she recalls.

“In the bags were four loaves of bread with margarine and pilchards. He told me his dad sent him with the goods to give to me. I was so relieved,” she says.

She recalls another incident, when she returned from hospital one day and her husband told her somebody was in the yard earlier.

“I went outside to inspect and on my doorstep found a box with ten loaves of bread. To this day I still have no idea who put that bread down there, but I am so grateful to be doing this for the patients at the hospital,” she says.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.