Providing the basics

2020-04-14 15:30
Lynne Garbutt, from the Dargle Conservancy, is pictured unloading pockets of butternuts for needy families in the KZN Midlands.

Lynne Garbutt, from the Dargle Conservancy, is pictured unloading pockets of butternuts for needy families in the KZN Midlands.

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Residents across the KZN Midlands are determined to help the most vulnerable members of their communities during the lockdown.

The Dargle Conservancy is providing food to families in the Zuzokuhle informal settlement, on the road between the Dargle and Howick.

“Through local networks it became clear that many people [at Zuzokuhle] had suddenly lost their income-generating opportunities, from recycling, car guarding and other activities, and were in need of help,” said Nikki Brighton, speaking on behalf of the conservancy.

“Dargle Conservancy set about supporting this community by providing basic provisions and toiletries. Local farmers have contributed too. Manny Salgado is delivering cabbages and butternuts and dozens of eggs are coming from Kevin Barnsley.

“Gugu Mungwe, who has lived at Zuzokuhle her entire life, is the connection to ensure that the food aid is distributed to those who need it most.”

The conservancy is also helping residents of Nxamalala Village, on the Petrusstroom Road, most of whom rely on casual employment, hawking snacks at the local school or seasonal work on farms. “For lots of children, the meal provided by the school feeding scheme is their main one of the day, so with schools closed, they are hungry,” said Brighton.

Dargle Conservancy committee member Gugu Zuma added: “Shops are so far away [and] even if you have money it is a challenge to get groceries now. Luckily, some of us have food gardens which are helping, and we are sharing our groceries with those who need it.”

The Dargle Conservancy has set up a Covid-19 fund to help vulnerable families in the area, which is being administered by treasurer Lynne Garbutt.

If you would like to help, you can make a donation to: Dargle Conservancy, First National Bank, Howick Branch code: 220725, Acc: 622 1187 9236, Ref: Covid19.

Meanwhile, a number of local companies and farmers in Mooi River and Howick have been donating produce to organisations helping those in need in the Midlands.

The donations started pouring in after uMngeni councillor Janis Holmes started a WhatsApp group calling on residents to help those affected by the lockdown, which has been extended to the end of April.

The Oasis Church in Howick is being used to store the donated food before it is distributed to the needy.

“The community have ensured that families and children do not go hungry and with the extension of the lockdown they will continue to provide where they can,” Christopher Pappas, the DA spokeperson on agriculture and rural development in the KZN Legisature, said.

Also doing their bit to help are members of the Hilton Ratepayers Association, who are backing the work of Robyn Gruiters’ NPO, Action in Isolation.

The association has set up an arrangement with Pick n Pay in Howick to supply food parcels for R120 each. These contain enough items for a family of three or four people to survive for two weeks.

A donations trolley has also been placed at Hilton Quarry Spar, and shoppers are encouraged to donate an item in when they go shopping. Alternatively donations can be delivered to Oasis Church in Howick, between 9 am and noon on weekdays. Items needed include mielie meal, rice, sugar, tea, oil, tinned fish or tins of baked beans, soup or soya mince, face cloths, soap, toothpaste and sanitary towels.

Action in Isolation, meanwhile, had a busy Easter weekend. They packed 94 food parcels that were delivered, along with cabbages and yoghurts, to children at Hawkstone Primary in the Karkloof.

The NPO also helped provide a month’s supply of food to a feeding scheme in Mpophomeni, which provides meals to around 100 children.

Read more on:    lockdown
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