[Trucklogix truck drivers, Victor Mtonga (left) and Melikhaya Joni show some of the food load which they transported from Johannesburg.]
With the national lockdown preventing many South Africans from working and trading, the food pantries across communities are running low.
FoodForward SA, a non-profit organisation that distributes food supplies to impoverished communities, is working around the clock to ensure provisions reach those in dire need of food.
However, the growing demand has drastically reduced stock levels at the Port Elizabeth branch earlier than anticipated and the organisation needed to transport food speedily from the head office in Johannesburg. When Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) learnt of this dilemma, the company quickly intervened and arranged that four trucks, which were scheduled to be delivered to Port Elizabeth this week, collect the food supply from FoodForward SA in Johannesburg and transport it to the Port Elizabeth branch.
According to Denise van Huyssteen, IMSAf Corporate Affairs, Business Strategy and Legal Executive, it was a quick call to Trucklogix, the logistics company which provides drivers for Isuzu trucks. “Without hesitation Trucklogix agreed to collect and transport four pallets of maize meal, one pallet of canned food and 50 bags of 5kg rice” said Van Huyssteen. “During this time of crisis, we strongly believe that it is important that together with our partners and stakeholders we all rally together to make a meaningful contribution and difference in our communities,”
FoodForward SA is in the front line during the COVID-19 crisis. Andy du Plessis, the NPO’s managing director, said FoodForward has raised over R9 – million in support of the current crisis, however with the growing demand much more is needed. “In the past week alone, we have fast-tracked the applications of 260 new beneficiary organisations, bringing the total number of beneficiary organisations served to 850, which collectively feed over 300,000 people. We continue to encourage registered beneficiary organisations serving vulnerable people to contact us. We do not want to see anyone go hungry during this time,” said Du Plessis.
With a presence currently in six provinces, FoodForward SA teams are currently on the road, delivering essentials to the needy across the country. They are working closely with various facilities, these include centres for the aged, orphans and vulnerable children, people living with HIV/AIDs, disabled persons, the homeless, community feeding programmes, as well as vulnerable women.
Du Plessis said that the organisation needs over R50 million in order to sustain the food distribution operation. “During this period financial contributions and donations of non-perishable food and toiletries will help us to get provisions to the most vulnerable groups,” Du Plessis added.
Anyone who would like to make a contribution can contact the FoodForward SA on 021 531 5670 or visit the website https://foodforwardsa.org/