R16.50 to feed a family? This bag beats bread

2015-11-30 16:30
Stop Hunger Now donated food packs to the Bonono Crèche in Alexandra this week. Each pack can feed 10 children

PHOTOS: Yuri Madonsela

Stop Hunger Now donated food packs to the Bonono Crèche in Alexandra this week. Each pack can feed 10 children PHOTOS: Yuri Madonsela

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Can you feed an average-sized family on just R16.50? Even a loaf of bread, which retails at about that amount, cannot send 10 children to bed with full stomachs.

But Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, a not-for-profit organisation that fights hunger globally, has come up with what it says is the cheapest answer to addressing the global hunger problem.

It has developed a basic food package consisting of rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin sachet.

When it’s cooked, six adults can each get a sizable plate, or 10 children can eat their stomach’s fill.

The food package was produced by the organisation as part of its drive to combat hunger.

Stop Hunger official Ntukhutho Dube said: “It cooks the same way as rice and takes about 30 minutes. Once cooked, it can feed a big family – all this for just R16.50 a pack, or R2.75 a plate.”

The organisation is now planning to produce and package larger volumes, but needs public and corporate support to help it produce and pack the food and get it delivered to people who need it the most.

According to Stop Hunger, hunger kills more people every year than Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. It says 3.1 million children in South Africa suffer from household hunger, and global supplies of food cannot meet demand.

Recently, Stop Hunger and Barloworld – with the help of its employees and volunteers – packed 170 000 meals for distribution to needy families and centres in South Africa and Mozambique.

One box contains 36 food packets, which is about 216 meals. In a recent food-packaging drive, 20 volunteers packed 5 000 meals in two hours.

Stop Hunger said the food box was enough to feed 20 children five meals a week for the whole year.

With so many children affected by hunger in the country, Stop Hunger has taken its food packages to early childhood development centres and a number of crèches have been benefiting from the food packs.

One of the beneficiaries is Bonono Early Learning Centre in Alexandra.

Every month, the school receives two boxes containing 36 food packets.

Dube said: “We assist about 20 early childhood development centres in Alexandra and many others across Gauteng and other provinces. We’re encouraging people to come on board and assist us to help those affected by hunger.

“We have seen Bonono renovate its building, build children’s toilets and a playing area through money saved from this project.”

Bonono principal Tina Mofokeng expressed her gratitude and said she was now able to take in children whose parents could not afford the fees charged by the crèche and she was also able to buy extra vegetables for the children.

Stop Hunger said it needed more volunteers and funds to be able to reach many similar centres.

Stop Hunger chief executive Saira Khan said: “The eradication of hunger is the second priority of the sustainable development plan and we encourage corporate South Africa to support this goal. Barloworld is a leading example of how employee volunteering contributes to this priority, and we are proud of our partnership with it.”

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