The Gauteng Department of Social Development says it is not yet concerned about food security during the lockdown because it had already launched a war on poverty before the national lockdown was announced.
Since the lockdown was implemented, 120 000 beneficiaries had received food relief by the department, which has about 200 000 beneficiaries on its database, including 2 700 non-profit organisations.
The department is giving out hampers to beneficiaries which is expected to feed a family of five for one month. It contains: mealie meal, rice, oil, instant porridge, beans, brown onion soup (sachets), soya mince, powdered milk, macaroni, toothpaste and soap.
"...we cannot leave the homeless to go hungry after lockdown," the department's spokesperson Thabiso Hlongwane told News24 on Monday.
"We cannot say we have enough, but we are pushing every day in all five regions, where 1 000 families receive food every day - that is our daily target," he said.
When asked by News24 what each food pack cost, Hlongwane said it would “be an injustice to name the price” as it was a donation.
"We do not know where the donors buy the food," he explained.
According to Hlongwane, the department meets its target every day, with officials delivering parcels by going door to door.
"R80m from the DSD coffers [province] has been set aside to make sure there is food. The national department is also going to provide an additional R43m to the province. Our donors have also given donations beyond R5.5 million so far," he added.
"We have donors that work with us, where all food and donations assemble in the central food bank; this works as a feed to all the food banks in the five districts," he added.
Beneficiaries who qualify for food relief must meet the following criteria:
- Households that have a combined income of R3 500 or less
- Current food insecure households, who are verified and confirmed by social workers.
- The homeless
- The sickly
- Child-headed households
- Victims of gender-based violence