SOUTH AFRICA – SA Harvest, a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate hunger and food waste in South Africa has attained a significant milestone of delivering over 5 million meals to where it’s needed most in just 18 months.
According to the organization over 1,500 tons of nutritious food has been rescued from ending up in landfill and delivered to food vulnerable communities in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, the Free State and Mpumalanga, at an average rate of around 277 000 meals per month.
Established in October 2019 with an initial seed funding of R25 million (US$1.75m), the national food rescue and advocacy organization is on a mission to end hunger in South Africa.
Shockingly, 10 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the country, which is enough to feed all the food-vulnerable people three nutritious meals a day for more than a year.
To this end SA Harvest collects surplus food from donors at the farming, manufacturing, wholesaler, retailer, and consumer household levels, before it spoils or ends up in landfill.
They use a fleet of refrigerated trucks and an innovative technology platform that helps in finding the appropriate logistics solutions where necessary, managing the warehouse operation professionally, and tracking and tracing food donations.
The rescued food is packaged into nutritious food bundles and delivered to vetted beneficiaries where it is used to create meals for vulnerable communities.
From its first beneficiary, The Service Dining Rooms, in Cape Town to now more than 80 grassroots community-based organizations around the country, SA Harvest’s growth has been exponential.
It attributes this success to the caring and generosity of their food donors and funders and the enormous dedication, sacrifice and commitment of their beneficiary organizations.
“This milestone is only one aspect of a holistic view of ending hunger in South Africa. Although feeding the hungry is a vital response to the current crisis – 19 million people going to sleep hungry every night – we accept that charity, in itself, cannot end hunger.
“To accomplish this, we need to work collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders to change the systemic root-causes of hunger,” said Alan Browde, founder and CEO of SA Harvest.
Vital to SA Harvest’s mission to end hunger are its core focus areas, namely its unwavering focus on delivering nutrition to its beneficiaries, its advanced logistics systems, capable, talented team, and strict hygiene controls and protocols.
Airline entrepreneur and chairman of SA Harvest, Gidon Novick, said, “It’s quite astounding what the SA Harvest team has accomplished in such a short time. Of course, there is still much to do to accomplish the lofty goal of ending hunger in our country.
“I totally support the idea that to be successful requires a holistic approach and, with the number of excellent projects being implemented by the team, I’m happy that our benefactors can rest assured that they are making a significant contribution to a more just, productive, safe and happier South Africa.”
Food insecurity has long been an issue in South Africa, with 11% of the population (6.5 million people) suffering from hunger in 2019, according to Statistics South Africa.
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