News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday October 17th 2017

City food bank to meet hunger crisis

Yugendree Naidoo

Cape Town organisations feeding the hungry are set to benefit from the launch of a central distribution centre for food donations known as FoodBank Cape Town.

FoodBank Cape Town is the first centre to be launched in South Africa under an initiative by the Global FoodBanking Network, which assists in setting up the banks as a way to address hunger and food security issues.

The Cape Town centre, which will be housed in Philippi and launched on March 2, is the first of its kind in Africa, said Patrick Andries, FoodBank Cape Town executive director.

Andries said the Cape Town launch would be followed by banks in other parts of South Africa under the umbrella of an organisation to be called FoodBank South Africa.

Food banks collect donated food at a central warehouse where it is inspected for quality and safety issues and has the branding removed.

Food is then sorted into nutritionally balanced parcels and distributed to affiliated NGOs that make food available to the hungry.

“We will be serving a broad spectrum of thousands of agencies such as HIV clinics, primary schools and old age homes,” said Andries.

He said FoodBank Cape Town was being formed by merging the food relief efforts of three leading projects in the City, namely Feedback Food Redistribution, the Lions Club and the Robin Good Initiative.

FoodBank South Africa would also negotiate with potential food donors such as food manufacturers, retailers and farmers.

Catholic Welfare and Development (CWD) focus area manager for health and nutrition Angelo Timmerf said with high global food prices, CWD was hoping to tap into the FoodBank to secure donations, help cut costs and enable them to increase the number of meals provided across their 55 kitchens. CWD currently provides 5,000 meals per day.

He said the FoodBank was being launched at a time of high food prices.

“Fresh vegetables and dry ingredients such as potatoes, rice, soya and split peas have skyrocketed over the last year.”

Quoting from an invoice, he said soya had increased by R30 in the last year. A 10kg bag which cost R210 last year now cost R241.

A five kilogramme bag of rice now cost R60, whereas last year a 10 kilogramme bag had cost R58.

“This is an exciting time because all NGO’s are coming together as one group to secure and pool resources together instead of organisations working individually,” said Timmerf.

He said the bank would help with addressing food security as increasing numbers of people were unable to afford basic items due to inflation and unemployment. — West Cape News

Tags: food, foodbank, hunger

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