National non-profit focussed on hunger relief and food redistribution, FoodForward SA, has announced it is launching a R50M appeal to extend its outreach footprint and get food to a wider network as part of its national Crisis Preparedness plan to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups’ nutrition.

Founded in 2009 to address the widespread food insecurity that exists in South Africa by recovering edible surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers for redistribution to registered beneficiary organisations, FoodForward SA operates the largest and most impactful food re-distribution service to vulnerable groups across South Africa.

The organisation sources, collects, and stores edible surplus food from the supply chain and redistributes this food via 670 NPO’s and charities across the country, to over 250 000 people per day, including vulnerable rural communities.

Says FoodForward SA Managing Director, Andy Du Plessis, “We’ve prepared a detailed needs list with associated costs, and are appealing to all sectors of our society and consulting with government, retailers, manufacturers and farmers to answer this very real need at a time when the most vulnerable in our country are at risk. While South Africa prepares for a 21-day lock-down, we are scaling up our operations in rural communities to secure food provisions for the next six months for our most at-risk groups, including the aged, orphans and vulnerable children, people living with HIV/AIDs, and TB patients.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the provision of sufficient, diverse and nutritious food is key in strengthening people’s immune system and increasing their capacity to cope with diseases.

Says Du Plessis, “Working closely with our retail, manufacturing and agricultural partners we hope to increase our food provisions nationally, and to fast track new beneficiary applications that focus on vulnerable groups including pre-school and school-aged children where they can access a meal.”

FoodForward SA’s COVID-19 appeal will enable it to invest in infrastructure and essential resources to establish more capacity to collect, store and deliver surplus and donated non-perishable food products to existing and new beneficiaries in provinces where the organisation’s network doesn’t currently operate, and where the need is greatest. Part of its’ scaling up entails reaching provinces the Charity is not currently reaching, including Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape province.

We’re counting on the generosity of our corporate partners and the public to help us make this a reality,” concludes Du Plessis.

Donations to FoodForward SA are tax deductible.

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