It was all smiles when Food Lover’s Market raised funds to feed hungry South Africans with over two million meals as part of their seventh in-store Hunger Month initiative. Partnering with Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the organisations are raising awareness and funds for South African communities suffering from food insecurity in commemoration of World Hunger Day on 28 May 2023.
“Shoppers are encouraged to voluntarily buy a meal for 56 cents at a Food Lover’s Market till point during the month of May. On World Hunger Day, 28 May 2023, Food Lover’s Market will match all meals shoppers donate,” said CSI manager for Food Lover’s Market, Kate Marais.
“This year, the retailer is starting its annual drive with more than two million meals already banked through generous contributions from key partners – including legacy partner, Tru-Cape.”
Combatting hunger in SA
Marais believes it is easy to understand that hunger and food insecurity is a very serious issues and that with over two million meals already banked, her team is planning to do things differently this year.
“Over the last six years, the Food Lover’s Market Hunger Month campaign has raised 6 190 063 meals donated, with 2 515 203 of these meals donated in 2022 alone – but this is not enough, and we can do better.
“Last year we had some incredible support from our customers, including Steelcrest High School pupils in Middelburg who came together independently to fundraise for the campaign, and the University of Johannesburg sports students who raised 7 500 meals. This spirit of ubuntu has been pivotal to the campaign’s success year-on-year,” said Marais.
Inflation at a record 14-year high
Marais revealed that data from Stats SA in January 2023 showed that food inflation reached a record 14-year high at 13.4%. Also, a study from the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Physiology showed that one in five South African households doesn’t have enough food to eat.
Moreover, 20% of South African households remain food insecure, in areas like the Eastern Cape, which has made Marais and her team believe that a simple 56 cents can make a difference.
“Last year, Food Lover’s Market and its partners changed their approach to collecting meals by making a large upfront contribution. This year, the upfront contribution has more than doubled. With Tru-Cape as the biggest donor, Food Lover’s Market’s in-store Hunger Month campaign is supported by long-standing suppliers in both our fresh and groceries departments,” said Marais.
A daunting reality
Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing managing director, Roelf Pienaar said that a tragic reality faced by the country is the hunger of many children and families. And sadly, globally one billion tonnes of food is wasted each year.
He said the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Food Waste Index Report shows that one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted.
“The Hunger Month initiative by Food Lover’s Market, one of Tru-Cape’s important and loyal customers, helps address both these issues. For us at Tru-Cape, the fact that two million meals are already banked, and each meal will now cost only 56 cents, is an extraordinary achievement,” he added.
“This will be the seventh year that Tru-Cape has partnered with Food Lovers in this life-changing initiative. And, we are proud to support an NPO such as Food Forward SA that collects and distributes healthy food to the most needy in a sustainable way, before it is wasted.
“As a business owned by the growers at Ceres Fruit Growers and Two-a-Day in Grabouw and responsible for about 20% of South Africa’s apple and pear production, we understand first-hand the need for sustainable agriculture and the food security for which we are responsible.”
The fight against food insecurity continues
Meanwhile, Andy du Plessis, managing director of FoodForward SA, said that 2023 will be the seventh consecutive year that FoodForward SA stands as a beneficiary NPO of Food Lover’s Market’s World Hunger Month campaign.
“What an incredible journey it’s been, joining hands with Food Lover’s Market in the fight against hunger, along with their suppliers and customers, to ensure the success of an annual initiative that enables FoodForward SA to distribute nutritious meals to nearly a million vulnerable people a day, across all nine provinces.
“We call on all South Africans to support this year’s World Hunger Month campaign at Food Lover’s stores nationwide and help us continue the fight against hunger.”
The bar has been set very high this year, added Marais.
“If ever there was a time to act, that time is now. Food inflation is biting, unemployment is at an all-time high, and our fellow South Africans cannot feed themselves. Join us in feeding more South Africans – from our table and yours,” she said.
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