SHN in history-making challenge

2016-05-11 06:00
PHOTO:nicole john At the launch of the Stop Hunger Now (from left) Neville Martin (Stop Hunger Now chairman), Saira Khan (Stop Hunger Now CEO) and Michael Deegan (Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest director).

PHOTO:nicole john At the launch of the Stop Hunger Now (from left) Neville Martin (Stop Hunger Now chairman), Saira Khan (Stop Hunger Now CEO) and Michael Deegan (Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest director).

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PIETERMARITZBURG, on its way to make history with the newly opened KwaZulu- Natal branch of Stop Hunger Now (SHN), has committed to be part of the nationwide challenge of packing two million food hampers for Mandela Day in South Africa.

Speaking at the recent official launch of SHN offices and the Mandela Day initiative, SHN CEO Saira Khan said she is overjoyed that the city will be part of making international history as they join with SHN branches internationally to a record-breaking 10 million meals around the world.

“This year Stop Hunger Now in South Africa decided to take the challenge to pack two million meals after breaking a record last year by packing over one million meals in only three cities on one day.

“I challenged the organisation’s branches internationally until everyone came on board to create a global challenge.”

This means that over a one week - from 13 to 20 July - SHN branches from India to Italy, America and South Africa will all be packing meals at the same time in order to reach the global challenge of 10 million meals.

SHN has over 56 000 beneficiaries nationwide and packs meals that are nutritious and dehydrated comprising rice, soya, vegetables, soup mix and 23 essential vitamins and minerals packaged by Heinz for SHN worldwide.

“People sometimes don’t understand the difference between malnutrition and hunger. To alleviate hunger I can give a child a packet of chips, but that is not nutritious. Therefore, while I alleviate hunger, there are more serious long-term consequences because they are not eating anything nutritious.

“What we do is give them nutritious food, which include all essential minerals in order to address both hunger and malnutrition,” said Khan.

This year, hosted under the theme “Follow the Sun”, the initiative has been extended to a week of meal packaging to honour the Madiba legacy of making every day a Mandela Day.

The event is aimed at corporate and organisations that support the event by sending teams to participate in the meal packaging activities as part of their 67 minutes. Companies join the event by sponsoring R10 000 per team of 20 people, who then participate with thousands of other corporate volunteers, contributing to supporting early childhood development facilities and universities with meals for a year.

The cost covers the ingredients and packaging of these meals.

Volunteers are an essential part of this initiative as they package the meals ensuring that Stop Hunger Now SA programmes remain cost effective, thereby widening its reaches.

To be a part of the record-breaking event, email Saira Khan on


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