Local NGO distributes 7.6 million meals to hungry children amid lockdown

The Social Development Department says 14 million people in South Africa were already food insecure before COVID-19.

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JOHANNESBURG - With over two million people having lost their jobs and more expected to go hungry due to the lockdown, A local NGO this week said it was working at strengthening partnerships with the public and private sectors to address hunger.

The Do More Foundation has successfully distributed over 7.6 million meals to marginalised families since the start of the lockdown.

The foundation, which primarily focuses on children in the early childhood development sector, said this has been achieved because of strong partnerships with 147 public and private sector organisations – including Gift of the Givers and Save the Children.

The Social Development Department said 14 million people in South Africa were already food insecure before COVID-19.

Among them were around 2.5 million children living under the poverty line.

The Do More Foundation said it planned to incentivise early childhood development centres in a bid to break the poverty cycle.

The organisation’s Executive Warren Farrer said: “We desperately need our young children to get back to centres. What’s also important for us is that cognitive support – 90% of that happens before the age of five so we want our children to have a better shot at a future and we’re going to change things for our country.”

Farrer added after taking lessons from their support programmes during COVID-19, they would continue to work with private and public organisations in a bid to support 20,000 vulnerable young children every school day – for the next 20 months.

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