GARDEN ROUTE NEWS & VIDEO - The Garden Route Food Pantry is going from strength to strength and nearly 40 000 meals have been provided by the organisation since it officially opened its doors in January.
The Food Pantry was established to serve all the B-municipalities in the area by sourcing and coordinating distribution of essential food products to communities in need. It is also supported by the Garden Route District Municipality.
Asked for comment about the first three months, Carl van Blerk, the managing director, said despite some challenges, in general things are going well. He is the force behind its establishment and it has been a dream for him for close to a decade.
He said that, thanks to the community, they are now in a position to provide meals to people who have nothing to eat.
"Although there is a place for donated goods and we want to encourage people to keep giving, we believe firmly that when it comes to food security, we also need to be cognisant of the quality of the food being given, especially regarding children suffering from malnutrition," he said.
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The Food Pantry recently received 26 tons of eeZeePaste NUT, a fortified ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) that has a peanut butter base. It is presented in a 92g sachet as a single meal and eaten straight out of the packet, or used as a spread on bread.
"The donation will create close to 300 000 meals - a great first step in eradicating hunger and malnutrition," said Van Blerk.
Although this donation from the Tokai Lions Club in Cape Town was free, transport comes with costs. After Van Blerk talked on national radio a few weeks ago, a businessman from Canada made a contribution toward the transport.
However, this is an ongoing project and therefore the Garden Route Food Pantry is calling on the business sector and private individuals to join the Friends of the Food Pantry programme by pledging only R100 a month towards food security.
More details can be found here.
Van Blerk said they hope for local farmers and the community to get more involved.
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