From Hand to Mouth: How A Donation Can Save A Child’s Life

According to a new report by the World Bank that analysed South Africa’s post-apartheid progress between 2006 and 2015, the report found the top 1% of South Africans own 70.9% of the country’s wealth whilst the bottom 60% only controls 7% of the country’s assets. More than half of South Africans, or about 30 million people, live below the national poverty line. This number will continue to increase with no signs of slowing down.

The group worst affected by poverty are children. The report found that poverty has an enduring legacy of apartheid since it remains concentrated in previously disadvantaged areas. Many South Africans who live there are unemployed‚ less educated‚ and live within large single parent headed household families. The official unemployment rate was 27.7% while the youth unemployment was about 38.6%.

The report was released by the South African Child Gauge organisation, which placed about a third of South Africa’s children at a serious risk of hunger. The news comes amidst during a time of economic uncertainty, rising unemployment, and our country’s struggle to keep our young ones fed. This isn’t likely to get any easier without addressing the issues of youth hunger.

The group revealed that around 20%, or 1 in 5, children do not live with their parents. Another 40% of kids are growing up without a father. Without one or both parents making at least a source of income, children will continue to suffer in this cruel fate of poverty.

The South African Child Gauge organisation estimated that there are 18.5 million children in Mzansi, or around 30%, who are suffering from the effects of malnutrition. Sadly, that same report details that broken homes are common and are a large contributing factor to hunger. Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, made it clear that denying our children the most basic privilege of eating will affect South Africa negatively in the future:

“Globally it is recognised that investing in childhood development is cost effective and beneficial for long time development…If a child faces any of the challenges of hunger, it will compromise their development and opportunities later in life. The well-being of children is one of the key priorities in the national development plan for 2030.”

This statistic hits the heart of anyone with compassion. I would like to propose a donation for South African children who are starving or in need of nutrition. One third of all food produced in South Africa is going to waste, while millions of hungry children are living without the fundamental security of regular nutritious meals.

FoodBank South Africa (FoodBank SA) is a registered non-profit organisation that provides a co-ordinated central logistical infrastructure that collects and rescues edible food from manufacturers and retailers, to ensure that the food is redistributed to help feed thousands of hungry people every day.

Established in 2009, their vision is to see a South Africa without hunger. Each year, billions of kilograms of food go to waste, while at the same time, plenty of children do not have enough to eat. FoodBank SA sources donate food items and then arranges for the products to reach those who need it the most.

There are registered non-profit organisations in the community that provide food to the starving, such as orphanages, crèches, senior citizen homes, shelters, community kitchens, and HIV/AIDS clinics. FoodBank SA helps collect edible surplus food from manufacturers and retailers to redistribute to hundreds of verified NPOs. FoodBank SA is also a proud member of the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), leading in a large-scale, co-ordinated effort to establish food banks in communities with the highest concentration of hunger.

Their programmes include the sourcing, collecting, sorting, storage, and distribution of surplus edible food to verified NPOs; purchasing basic food items such as sugar beans, rice, maize; and large-scale feeding programmes on behalf of government and donors wishing to make a greater impact.

With a large staff, warehouses, and logistics infrastructure across the country facilitating the provision of 12.7 million meals annually, FoodBank SA rescued 3,800,000 kilograms of food last year and assisted hundreds of verified NPOs across the country that feed 91,000 people daily.

The average cost per meal is only R1.19, which is a cost-effective solution to the problem of hunger. You can help by donating to FoodBank SA, which relies on the generosity of corporates and individuals to implement this cost-effective solution to feed hungry children. Your contribution to get rid of youth hunger would be much appreciated.

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