Campaign spreads hope

Carla Martin, Michael Owen Dyson, Mikayle Booysen, Leanne Reid and Merle Africa at the handover of food parcels at Children’s House of Lavender Hill. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Most KFC customers have at least once wondered when asked if they want to Add Hope for R2, “Where does the R2 go?” The answer, at least in part, is Lavender Hill.

On Wednesday 10 March, KFC made a generous donation of 300 emergency food parcels to early childhood development centres (ECDCs) in Lavender Hill after the fast-food giant’s interest was sparked by an opinion piece posted in People’s Post.

Leanne Reid, the founder of Learning in Reach, a non-profit organisation (NPO) focused on early childhood development, penned the opinion piece “The plight of children on the flats”, highlighting the role and struggles of ECDCs, especially on the flats.

Andra Nel, corporate social investment and sponsorship officer at KFC, said, besides the mention of the fast food outlet in the piece, the company is aware of the need in such communities and aims to assist with their Add Hope campaign which relies on a R2 donation from customers.

“There is a situation around ‘Where does the R2 go?’, but the reality is that something as small as R2 compiled can make a huge difference. When we read the story, it brought the reality of so many people to light.”

She says the donation was “inspired by the willingness and dedication of individuals to make a difference on a daily basis”.

A number of ECDCs, who are supported by Learning in Reach, received these critical supplies from the fast-food company.

Many of the centres were hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown (“ECDs remain hopeful”, People’s Post, 9 February) and struggled to feed the youths in their programmes after finances were tightened by parents.

Reid says the beneficiaries were those who are supported by the NPO.

“We work with all the ECD centres in this area – Seawind, Lavender Hill, Hillview and Montague Village – so we didn’t select any particular centres; they all got a fair distribution according to the size of their centres. And the food is either going to be used in the centres, for lunches as they all serve the children lunch and snacks, or they’re going to be used to make up food parcels for families that are really struggling and families with young children.”

She adds the need for these centres has increased dramatically over the past year.

“There’s a really big need. We’ve done some research and the numbers (of children receiving developmental care) have dropped. Something like 38% of children is in ECD centres, so there are a lot of children who don’t have access to centres – some for financial reasons and some because parents don’t understand the importance of development at this young age.