Soul Food feeds hungry tummies

2019-09-26 06:01
When Eric Mtyobo from Soul Food comes around the corner, residents know: today they will go to bed with a full tummy.Photo: Razaan Plaatjies

When Eric Mtyobo from Soul Food comes around the corner, residents know: today they will go to bed with a full tummy.Photo: Razaan Plaatjies

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FEEDING hungry tummies while feeding souls – one load at a time.

When Eric Mtyobo from Soul Food comes around the corner with his fully-loaded red and white bakkie, young Hankey-residents know: today they will go to bed with full tummies.

And there might even be food left for tomorrow.

Established by Reverend Brent Chalmers, the non-profit organisation sets out to feed hungry school learners and students – especially in the mornings.

Soul Food, a logistics operation, collects surplus food from farms, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as donations from manufacturers and stores. They then distribute this food to hundreds of schools, orphanages, shelters, old age homes and places of refuges.

According to Mtyobo, who is available seven days a week to collect and deliver food, there are various nutritional feeding programmes at the schools in Hankey, but these programmes do not cater for learners who come to school hungry. Thus, Soul Food provides them with a meal before the start of the school day.

“Experience has revealed that it is almost impossible for children and young adults to learn or engage in extra-curricular activities and sport when they are desperately hungry,” says Mtyobo, who joined the Soul Food team in 2016.

“Since we started giving food to these learners, their academic work has improved significantly, the absenteeism rate decreased and, for the first time, schools boast with a 100% attendance.”

According to Mtyobo, they mainly focus on areas that is home to seasonal workers, who do not always have an income throughout the year to buy food.

It is his hope that Soul Food, in conjunction with local residents, can feed as many hungry learners as possible.

For more information, contact Mtyobo at 079 032 0854 or send an email to emtyobo@gmail.com.

  • There are currently five Soul Food operations: Port Elizabeth (which includes Hankey), Sedibeng (Johannesburg South), the East Rand, Pretoria and Makhanda (Grahamstown).
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