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Need keeps growing

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The donations received from Community Chest. Pictured from left is Gerard Payne (Community Chest), Carolyn Inglis, Alison Dixon and Justin Morkel. PHOTO: supplied
The donations received from Community Chest. Pictured from left is Gerard Payne (Community Chest), Carolyn Inglis, Alison Dixon and Justin Morkel. PHOTO: supplied

Hundreds of vulnerable residents from Kensington and Factreton will have a warm meal to eat thanks to the non-profit organisation (NPO) Community Chest’s partnership with the Maitland-based charity PlaySport4Life (PS4L).

Carolyn Inglis, programme overseer at PS4L, says while they as an organisation do their best to keep vulnerable people fed, the number of people needing assistance grows daily.

Inglis says they are grateful to Community Chest of the Western Cape which has supplied them with fresh vegetables, non-perishable products and household necessities.

She explains that the goods will be distributed to the soup kitchens they work with in the Factreton area.

“We are confident our relationship will continue to grow and, together, we can make a difference in more lives of those in need. By partnering with organisations like Community Chest, we can continue and increase the work we do in the community.”

Inglis says they have identified four soup kitchens that collectively supply warm meals to about 1 000 people, daily.

“We supply these kitchens with ingredients and they, in turn, cater to those in need. The challenge that we face is that the number of unemployed people grows daily and the food supply is never enough.”

She says the continuous lockdown means more people are going hungry.

Desiree Goliath, spokesperson for Community Chest, says since March last year, the NPO has been partnering with community organisations, civil society and church organisations.

“The Community Chest Food Hub initiative provides support to community feeding kitchens, assisting impoverished communities with healthy, hot meals.

“Food hubs are part of Community Chest’s integrated food security strategy, providing food contributions to help relieve hunger, as well as to relieve the burden of cost and worry to caregivers challenged to provide enough food for their families.”

Goliath says PS4L is one of their food hubs.

“We have discovered that there is a need greater than what we were doing. The impact of Covid-19 is so devastating and the basic need people have is for food. So we made a decision to work with people on the ground in the community. They are the ones working with people every day so they understand what people need. So they became our distribution partners.”

Goliath explains that in the NPO’s 93-years of existence, it has never experienced so many people who are in desperate need of food relief.

According to Goliath, the organisation has launched six food hubs in Kuilsriver, Montagu, Kensington and Factreton in the past 12 months.

She says, last year, there was an influx of funding towards Covid-19 food relief programmes from organisations and corporates but, she adds, that this year getting funds is one of their biggest challenges.

“If we as an organisation that has been around for more than 90 years are struggling to get funding then we know that the people on the ground are feeling the pinch even more so. We are now in the third wave. The challenge on the ground is painful. People don’t have food to eat. The situation is catastrophic.”

Maraldia Festus, one of the beneficiaries who runs the Hope Kitchen, says she is grateful for donations that she receives from PS4L.

“I feed about 130 people two to three times per week, depending on how many ingredients I have. I serve people porridge in the morning and then a hot meal in the afternoon. Every donation is welcomed because without it I am not able to cook and many people will go hungry.”

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