by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – IN the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) exacerbating economic turmoil, it is imperative more than ever to eradicate child hunger in South Africa.
The country will join the world in commemorating World Food Day on Saturday (October 16) amid the most severe outbreak of the pandemic in the continent resulting in significant job losses and increased food prices.
Children are bearing the brunt.
The South African National Income Dynamics Study -Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) shows that child hunger has remained high with 1-in-7 households reporting that a child went hungry in April 2021.
Andra Nel, Corporate Social Investment at fast food restaurant chain, KFC, called an all-stakeholder intervention to address the crisis.
“The child hunger crisis in SA continues to have long-term effects and dealing with this crisis requires collaboration from the public and private sectors as well as civil society.” Nel said.
Through its KFC Add Hope initiative, the company encourages customers to make their contribution, in addition to the donation that KFC makes every day, to combat food insecurity in South Africa.
KFC has been running the Add Hope programme for 12 years.
Add Hope has raised over R811 million (US$54,945 million) to date.
Customers donate R2 (US$0,14) on some purchases.
Through the Add Hope initiative, 150 000 children have access to nutritious meals to positively contribute to their development and reduce the risk of diseases.
This is through sustainable feeding programmes at more than 140 beneficiary organisations.
Dr Marc Aguirre, Country Director & Regional Technical Advisor at HOPE Worldwide South Africa said According to Stats SA, 47 percent of the South African population are going hungry.
“That is more than 3 million children,” Aguirre said.
“Child malnutrition requires a multi-sectoral and a whole-society response.”
Aguirre said evidence suggests that that NGO and private sector have played a significant role in driving child food insecurity responses, especially during the subsequent lockdown measures for COVID-19.
– CAJ News