Saving lives one meal at a time

2015-09-24 06:00

HERE families only get a meal a day if they are lucky.

Most go to bed hungry. Most wake up hungry almost every morning. For the residents of Pellsrus, Ocean View, Mandela Bay and Tokyo Sexwale it is a daily struggle to provide food for their children - often they have nothing to give. If they are lucky they eat, if not, they go to bed hungry.

“No person, especially no child, should have to feel the agony of hunger, not when we have the resources to share,” says Dean Luyt from Meals on Wheels Community Service (MOWCS) in Jeffreys Bay. For the past five years MOWCS has made it their mission to feed as many residents among the poorest of the poor twice a week. Operating from a small kitchen in Pellsrus from just after seven in the morning, every Tuesday these residents are treated to lentil stew with white samp, and every Thursday they receive a warm meal consisting of mealies and beans. At present, they serve 2 500 meals a month. “It is nothing fancy, but we make a huge difference in many people’s lives,” says Luyt.

The meals are dropped off at four points in Pellsrus, Ocean View, Tokyo Sexwale and Mandela Bay. With the need being the greatest in Ocean View, they hope to find another drop off point in that area.

However, their resources are very limited and they are appealing to the community to help offer a child or elderly person a wholesome meal to relieve their hunger pains. “The simple sharing of our blessings has the power to save lives,” says Luyt.

Last Thursday, not even the cold or rain and muddy roads could deter Ocean View residents from coming to the small and dilapidated building serving as a church and distribution point.

“This is what makes it all worthwhile,” says Luyt as a little boy finds his way through the mud to the building - holding a small plastic container in his little hands, eager to receive his meal for the day. “This might be the only warm meal he will have until next Tuesday when we come again.”

MOWCS hope to soon have their own service centre with a fully equipped kitchen and a hall where they can conduct training and skills development seminars, as well as start their own vegetable garden. According to Luyt, the land has already been earmarked, but due to some red tape, the process has been delayed.

MOWCS wants to thank all their sponsors: Dirk Ellis, New Apostolic Church, Papilon Organic Veg, Fruit and Veg, Vyeboom Ba-kery, individuals and ward councillors.How can you help?

“Our resources are very limited and we are hoping and praying that local businesses will assist us to ensure that we can continue offering the poorest of the poor meals twice a week,” says Luyt. Our plans include adding additional meals, as well as offering assistance to those who suffer losses through fire or theft. We also provide blankets to those who need them most in winter.”

To assist the MOWCS in Jeffreys Bay in their endeavours, the following options are available:

. A monthly contribution of your choice for 12 months

. A once-off donation

. Vehicle maintenance and expenses

. Meals and related expenses

. Funds for building a community service centre.

Monetary donations can be made at ABSA Bank, account number 407 858 7997, branch code 632-005.

For more information, contact Dean Luyt at 079 586 2787 or send an email to

)MOWCS Jeffreys Bay is a division of MOWCS South Africa. Meals on Wheels Community Services (MOWCS) is a humanitarian initiative that strives to bring relief to the country’s less fortunate and aged, irrespective of colour, class or culture. As far as possible, help is granted wherever it is needed. MOWCS serves the basic needs of the poorest of the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled and the elderly in society

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