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S. Africa: Food rescue scheme feeds vulnerable people as pandemic bites

Volunteer and chef at ''Chefs with Compassion'' cleaning up cabbage.   -  
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South Africa

In Johannesburg, South Africa, a food rescue scheme is channeling waste foods to those who need it most during the pandemic. NOSH Food rescue, saves usable food from being thrown out. They take up the task to save foods from perishing.

"We waste 10 million tonnes of produce in this country a year out of the 31 million tonnes that are produced. So, 30 percent of the food produced in this country gets wasted. In the meantime, we sit with 16 million people that go to bed hungry every day", said Hanneke van Linge at NOSH Food Rescue,

Chefs with Compassion is a non-profit based organization in Johannesburg. Created at the start of the pandemic, it helps to re-distribute the foods to soup kitchens and feeding schemes.

"You can rescue a vegetable. People don’t know that a vegetable, you can rescue it, and give it to somebody else to use it. You don’t have to just throw everything away. Just first rescue it and see if it can be usable to somebody else", Volunteer and chef at 'Chefs with Compassion', Jane Gqozo said.

The Sincedeni Elderly centre is one of the beneficiaries of the benevolence of ''Chefs with Compassion''. Staff here, cook and serve hot meals to vulnerable persons.

"We’ve got elderly who are staying with the orphans where parents are no longer there, we’ve got the vulnerable families where there’s no-one working at all. It’s all parents and the kids", said Khethiwe Mkhalithi, Sincedeni Elderly Centre manager.

Pandemic-related job losses means that the number of people needing support keeps rising. The center also caters for those needing food to get by like Nonaqhawe Dlomo.

"Even if you said ‘I don’t want this thing’ I will take it because I know my situation at home", Dlomo said.

Before covid-19 hit, it is estimated that nearly a quarter of South Africans go to bed hungry.

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