Groups unite to feed vulnerable communities

Shamiel Hoosain, of the District Six Working Committee, mayor Dan Plato; consultant Karen Breytenbach and Andre Viljoen of Woodstock Brewery.

Mayor Dan Plato joined volunteers from the District Six Working Committee in Hanover Park on Wednesday April 22, to feed hundreds of children in the community.

The children made a line around the block and each had their hands sanitised before receiving a hot cooked meal from Mr Plato and members of the committee.

The mayor met with consultant Karen Breytenbach, District Six Working Committee chairperson, Shahied Ajam, and Andre Viljoen, owner of Woodstock Brewery, to discuss a plan to bring large volumes of food to poor communities around Cape Town daily.

“The plan involves bridging the gap between our farmers, who are producing more than enough food, but are not able to supply to their regular restaurant buyers at present, and the hungry people in the city and the volunteers who are ready to serve them. It is all about getting to scale fast,” Ms Breytenbach said.

Mr Ajam thanked all the donors and volunteers that made it possible to feed the children, and encouraged more people to donate towards the cause.

“Despite the challenges, there is a sense of ubuntu — a sense of love and harmony among the people. After lockdown, there will be a new normal and we must make that paradigm shift,” Mr Ajam said.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town announced that sub-councils are revisiting ward-allocation budgets, looking for savings and projects affected by lockdown, which might not be completed by June, so that this money can be re-prioritised to the Mayoral Fund for food security.

“The City is committed to working in tandem with collective efforts of the national and Western Cape governments to ensure that residents have food on their tables,” said a City statement.

“In actioning the City’s commitment, councillors are playing their part and making sure they can contribute and support their different communities.

“This inevitable and necessary lockdown, is having devastating effects on the economy and household incomes — leaving a lot of families in dire need of food and insecure of their next meal. Many households have been pushed into hunger and starvation which is very concerning to the City.

“The City’s food-relief programme will be rolled through all 24 sub-councils and recognised NGOs as soon as the budget re-prioritisation is completed.”