Lockdown | Here's how you can help those in need

(Misha Friedman/Getty Images)
(Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Poor South Africans are struggling as the coronavirus lockdown impacts on their ability to feed their families.

It's believed millions of people are close to starving, while many have already reported going hungry for at least a day.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a newsletter, highlighted the desperate state of impoverished South Africans as illustrated by "distressing images of desperate people clamouring for food parcels".

The president also promised harsh action for officials who steal food parcels intended for the poor.

"We have also had to contend with allegations both disturbing and disgusting. A number of provinces have received reports that callous individuals, some of them allegedly government officials, are hoarding or selling food parcels earmarked for the needy and destitute, or diverting them to their friends and families."

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In response to the food security crisis growing in many areas across the country, companies and citizens have been urged to donate funds and food items to help those most in need.

If you would like to make donations of non-perishable food or other support for those in need during this time but don't know who to turn to, News24 has compiled a list of organisations coordinating donations and assistance:

The Bethany House Trust, local orphanage:

They need a truck to help bring 1.8 tons of food from Centurion to Krugersdorp. If you can help, please contact 082 900 7832.

Gift of the Givers

Relief organisation Gift of the Givers is conducting an ongoing food rollout through feeding centres and food delivery.

"The calls on both the Gift of the Givers emergency and counselling toll-free lines are flooded with virtually one request, 'where can we get food, we are starving, we are hungry'. The callers are from every corner of the country. The pleading is incessant, they have to feed a hungry child, a baby or someone ill. They don't have income, won't be getting paid, are not collecting UIF, and probably don't have a job to go back to," organisation head Dr Imtiaz Sooliman told News24.

Gift of the Givers distributes food parcels, which cost R350 each, it is delivering protective wear to 100 hospitals and clinics nationwide, and has set up eight Covid-19 testing sites, among other activities.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by sending cash to Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, account number 052137228, branch code 057525, ref Corona. For Section 18A tax deductible certificates, send email to donations@giftofthegivers.org.

South African Red Cross

The South African Red Cross is conducting coronavirus-related relief work in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga, among other areas.

"We have number of mobile soup kitchens and we already have systems in place to distribute food parcels," organiser George Mamabolo told News24.

The organisation has 10 soup kitchens in Gauteng and three in Limpopo.

If you would like to donate, here are the details: Standard Bank, South African Red Cross Society, account number: 001355929, universal branch code: 051001. You may use coronavirus relief as a reference.

Mamabolo said that Red Cross workers do not fear looting of their food supplies.

"Our structures are quite solid and people know who we are and what we do. They trust us."

SAME foundation

The SA Medical and Education (SAME) foundation is appealing to South Africans to help fund critical medical equipment required to protect healthcare workers, and effectively ease the impact of Covid-19.

It is raising R500 million in this endeavour to assist the Department of Health.

To assist, please contact info@samefoundation.org.za or visit www.samefoundation.org.za for details.

"Our projects have a lifespan of as long as our medical equipment is guaranteed and usable. While these actions will immediately save lives and assist with the coronavirus pandemic, it will also mean that in the years to come our public hospitals will be well equipped to better serve their communities," said the foundation's CEO Trevor Pols.

Operation Hunger

Operation Hunger is appealing to South Africans for help. It needs donations, so the organisation can distribute food hampers to the value of R180 each to needy people.

Hampers will contain a variety of non-perishable items and you can find details here.

Ladles of Love

Ladles of Love soup kitchen will feed approximately 1 000 people during the lockdown and is calling on South Africans to help it double capacity to 2 000 nutritious meals per day.

"We have committed with the city to assist the homeless with food for the temporary shelters they are erecting in the CBD and, therefore, ongoing donations are key during this challenging time," said founder Danny Diliberto.

Meals cost only R10 and you can make donations here.

Cans With Purpose

Cans With Purpose provides non-perishable food to needy communities and has distribution points in open retailers and banks where people can donate canned goods.

It donates canned foods to Afrika Tikkun, which provides relief to the poor across SA.

You can make cash donations here.

The Black Sash

The Black Sash's Esley Philander told News24 that the organisation is running a helpline for those who need free paralegal assistance.

They can be contacted at 072 663 3739 or email help@blacksash.org.za.

Through the helpline, you can ask a Black Sash paralegal questions regarding your rights and the organisation will follow up your complaint with the relevant agency.

Ikamva Labantu

Ikamva Labantu is delivering food to the needy and assisting senior citizens affected by the lockdown.

The organisation reaches 1 200 seniors per day and provides 330 000 meals per year at seniors' clubs.

To make a donation, click or tap here for details.

FoodForward SA

FoodForward SA claims it provides the most value meals for the poor and vulnerable at just R0.85 per meal.

It provides meals to those in great need and is making an appeal to raise R50 million to feed people.

Click to tap this link to make an instant donation.

Peninsula School Feeding Association

There are 170 school attached to the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) in the Western Cape and the organisation received permission to continue distribution efforts during the lockdown.

"We feed at schools that fall out of the government feeding programme. We fill that gap," PSFA fundraising manager Charles Grey told News24.

The organisation conducts its logistically challenging programme at schools and principals and staff are assisting in the distribution of food parcels to needy children.

"We rely on donations from generous people throughout the Western Cape," said Grey.

To assist in helping to deliver food, you can tap or click here.

Project Isizwe

This organisation well-known for providing Wi-Fi is driving a No Child Left Behind programme to provide internet access for needy children who cannot afford online access for education during the lockdown.

Schools can register children who require internet access and Project Isizwe will, with funder help, deliver a Wi-Fi 3G modem loaded with 1GB of data which will be replaced when it runs out.

The organisation is appealing for donations here.

Nation Changers

This Christian organisation has been operation for seven years and calls for donations of food, expertise and finances to meet the needs of the hungry and poor.

The organisation also issues 18A tax certificates and if you would like to donate, you can tap or click here.

As per lockdown rules, people who are going to deliver their donations will have to bear in mind they need a permit to be on the road. 


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