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Sovereign Foods partners with NPO to help feed those less fortunate

Jul 20, 2017
Sovereign Foods partners with NPO to help feed those less fortunate

“I have five children and am unemployed, being here today receiving this cooked meal means so much to me,” said Desire Gallant of Timothy Valley in Port Elizabeth who visited the Sovereign Foods (JSE: Sov Foods) and We Care HIV Aids Organisation and Feeding Scheme, Mandela Day event on Tuesday.

Gallant, who largely depends on children’s grants and visits a soup kitchen twice a week, was among the hundreds of children and adults at the internationally recognised Mandela Day event held in Bloemendal, who were treated to a cooked meal sponsored largely by Sovereign Foods.

“I appreciate being here today. I can’t explain how grateful I am. I had to walk here with my children to get this meal. I am so grateful,” Gallant said.

Hundreds of activities around the country were held in celebration of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day yesterday (Tuesday, 18 July).

Annually on 18 July, South Africans and international communities honour South Africa’s late former President Nelson Mandela. The Nelson Mandela campaign this year focused on fighting poverty under the theme #ActionAgainstPoverty.foo

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Mandela's birthday, 18 July, as Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009.

The main objective of Nelson Mandela International Day is to inspire individuals to take action and to help change the world for the better. The Nelson Mandela International Day campaign asks that individuals, groups and corporates pledge 67 minutes of their time on 18 July, and every day thereafter, to give back to their communities. The 67 minutes is symbolic of commemorating the 67 years that Mandela had been a part of the movement for liberation.

Tanya Fredericks of Extension 21 said she was happy that children were given the opportunity to play as children on Mandela Day. “I often see children copy gangsters with how they speak and how they play with toy guns. This is such a good initiative that they could play today as children should. They are also being treated to good cooked meals,” she said.

Hursele Kruger, a volunteer at the Mandela Day event said being unemployed is not easy and knowing that a large number of families will not only bond but also receive a cooked meal is heartwarming.

“Communities are challenged on a daily basis with unemployment, and there is a shortage of love and attention between parents and children. Today parents and children will bond here on this sports field and the meal will help feed a hungry child,” Kruger said.

Sovereign Foods has supported We Care, a non-profit organisation (NPO), for the past three years and has contributed R35 000 to their various initiatives.

“It is important for Sovereign Foods to contribute to communities and make a difference. We have supported We Care for the past three years. Our corporate social investment projects allow us to contribute toward the improvement of society in some way,” Cwayita Mdledle Sovereign Foods senior human resources manager said.

“The company’s CSI projects all fall under the Sovereign Cares initiative. The mission of our CSI programme is to contribute to the sustainable development of rural and/or previously disadvantaged communities and actively engage stakeholders in programmes that add value to the lives of those in the areas around Sovereign Foods,” she added.

We Care feeds 800 children twice a day, provides computer training for grades 11 and 12 learners, they also provide health services to the community and give home based carer training.

“Looking after the well-being of the children is very important to us. We believe that to feed a child and look after their health status is important for us as we render a service important to sustain them,” said Apostle Donovan Arends, chairman of the We Care HIV Aids organisation. He also said it is important to note that not all parents whose children visit the centre are HIV positive.

“I encourage government to come on board and support more and uplift communities,” he added.

Adults were also treated to health check services provided by Chatty Clinic nursing staff and home based carers.

Image: MANDELA DAY: Cwayita Mdledle Sovereign Foods senior human resources manager – products – hands Desire Gallant and her one-year-old daughter Mikayla of Timothy Valley in Port Elizabeth a cooked meal to eat during the Mandela Day event held in partnership with We Care HIV Aids Organisation and Feeding Scheme, at the Finnis Street sports field, in Bloemendal.