Port Alfred Soup Kitchen, in association with the international organisation Stop Hunger Now, packaged 50 436 meals last Saturday (May 14)th in less than 7 hours.
They required 200 volunteers for the packaging operation at Port Alfred High School. Instead they got more than 400 volunteers from various schools and organisations in the Ndlambe area.
Port Alfred Soup Kitchen received R100 000 from LOTTO which was used to purchase the ingredients required. Barry Mey, CEO of Stop Hunger Now South Africa assisted in co-ordinating the purchasing and setting up of the event. The scholars from Port Alfred High School, El Shaddai Christian Academy, Home Schoolers, students from Beyond Adventure, Stenden and youth from other organisations assisted by packing, dancing, singing and just showing us that the youth do care.
Each meal packet was weighed, and then heat sealed and boxed into boxes of 36 meal-packs. Each meal- pack provides six servings, and has a shelf life of 12 months. The Stop Hunger Now meals are designed to address malnutrition, and meant to be enhanced by fresh vegetables and sauces. These meal packs included rice, soy, spices, dehydrated veggies and various vitamins and minerals to ensure a healthy meal. Volunteers were required to do tasks which included setting up ingredients, packaging ingredients, weighing ingredients, sealing packages, packing boxes and cleaning up.
The meals that were packed will go toward the ongoing feeding of the hungry in the Ndlambe area. The target groups are various local schools and crèches, old age homes and orphanages, disabled children and clinics as well as assisting other organisations such as Jehovah Jireh Children’s Home, Loaves and Fishes, Child Welfare and the Matiyana Fund to name a few.
Barry Mey from Stop Hunger Now said: “Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa’s vision is to end hunger through a structured mission of transformation through education. We promote school feeding programmes in which the resourced community can connect with our meal- packaging events to feed local undernourished school children. In South Africa we have 3.3 million children under the age of 17 that experience household hunger. Our aim is to feed these children, thus providing them with a fair opportunity to complete their schooling, and become employable. The World Feeding Programme and World Bank both endorse school feeding programmes as an effective way to combat poverty.”
Port Alfred Soup Kitchen and Stop Hunger Now will be working very closely with Port Alfred High School students to run initiatives over the next six months to be able to raise R200 000 to package 100 000 meals in December.
If you want to support this initiative please contact Port Alfred Soup Kitchen on 046 624 4925 or if you want to find out more about Stop Hunger Now go to www.stophungernowsa.org