Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa kicked off a new nine-month meal distribution program with the City of Johannesburg on World Food Day, October 16, 2015. It is estimated that 42% of the poor in Johannesburg go without a meal for up to three days in a month. As a result, the city has made food resilience and agricultural development a top priority.
With a theme of “Building Food Sustainability for Vulnerable Children – Eradicating Hunger and Malnutrition for One Child @ A Time,” this program will feed thousands of vulnerable families across the region. This is a unique opportunity for both Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, as well as for the City of Johannesburg, to combat hunger and provide a sustainable solution to families living in poverty.
Through the partnership, the City of Johannesburg’s employees will package Stop Hunger Now meals each month to service hungry families identified by the City of Johannesburg. “To ensure that beneficiaries embrace a healthy lifestyle, the Stop Hunger Now meals will be provided with vegetables such as cabbages, onions, carrots, potatoes and butternuts,” says Nkele Maumakwa, the Acting Executive Head of the City’s Department of Health and Social Development. The vegetables will come from the Johannesburg Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Market which encourages small-scale farmers to produce and collaborate to sell their products directly.
Food accounts for 60% of the budget of poor households in Johannesburg. The pilot partnership will see approximately 1.5 million meals distributed over a nine month period, feeding more than 100,000 beneficiaries. The feeding program is a short-term strategy that will be followed by a long-term approach to assist families in establishing gardens so that they can grow their own food.