Hunger has gripped many people during the lockdown, and it’s children who are often the most vulnerable.
Tina Hopff runs a feeding scheme in Kranshoek, Western Cape, to help children struggling with food during the lockdown. She says “if we want change we have to start with the children.”
Tina says that when the lockdown started in March, she already had a food scheme running called “People of Love”. So she started doing much more.
“As the lockdown started, the organisation served up to 800 meals a day, and is now delivering about 700 meals twice a week. Overall, 150,000 meals have been delivered to the Kranshoek community,” Tina says.
Tina says that in the beginning, she and a colleague used to drive from street to street feeding children from their “soup kitchen on wheels”. Now there are nine soup kitchens feeding the area, including Kranshoek near the seaside resort of Plettenberg Bay.
Some SA food charities have struggled to get government permits during lockdown.
But the Bitou municipality – often criticised, including in our report here – helped by granting permission to continue working. The municipality gave the food scheme a licence to work during the lockdown. Local wealthier residents helped with money and food.
Bitou municipality spokesman Andile Namntu says Kranshoek is one of the most impoverished communities in this rich municipality. He says social ills like drug abuse, teen pregnancies and crime are high in the area. He welcomes the help of these Good Samaritans “who are trying their very best in helping the communities”.
People of Love has also started helping to set up community gardening projects for vegetables, and supporting small businesses coming out of lockdown.
They’ve expanded to look after other adults, including foreign nationals. Tina says she has seen an increase in foreign nationals getting help. Most unemployed foreign nationals were not getting the government food parcels, she says. “Our feeding scheme became their home.”