The smiles on the faces of the women and children say it all! At a time when many vulnerable families are battling with hunger and unemployment, a big shout out goes to the Mondelēz SA and INMED SA Health in Action volunteer staff, who visited a number of schools, churches and community centres in Orange Farm, Diepsloot and Soweto in December to hand out much needed food hampers.
“It came at just the right time, especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we try to not only help the children, but also our very valuable community,” said Disebo, who manages Thato Ke Matla care centre for children in Orange Farm, one of the recipients of the hampers. ”There were even a few snacks in the food hampers that the children enjoyed very much!”
Brenda, who runs the Smiley Kids centre for pre-school children in Diepsloot, also really appreciated the food hampers, saying “We are so happy and kindly appreciate what you have done for our centre in these difficult times of COVID-19 and hope that you will be able to help us each and every year. We appreciate it a lot!”
The initiative formed part of the Mondelēz International South Africa CSR and employee volunteering programme. Mondelēz and staff donated 700 food hampers, in partnership with INMED South Africa Health in Action (HiA) staff, to the communities that the Health in Action programme serves.
Health in Action is a school-based nutrition and healthy lifestyles program of INMED South Africa and Mondelēz International Foundation for primary school children in disadvantaged communities in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. It focuses on access to fresh produce via school gardens as well as education and training for students, staff and parents on nutrition, physical fitness and making healthy choices.
“The unprecedented global social and economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic poses grave risks to the nutritional status and survival of young children world-wide and especially in South Africa,” said Dr Sandra Pretorius, Programme Director for INMED HIA programme. Of particular concern is an expected increase in child malnutrition, including wasting, due to steep declines in household incomes and changes in the availability and affordability of nutritious foods.
“The food hampers donated by Mondelēz South Africa and staff gave much needed relief to the unemployed women and their children living in low-resourced communities,” said Pretorius. “It definitely helped bring some of the Christmas spirit and the joy of sharing into the lives of these adults and children at the end of a year filled with many challenges. We thank Mondelēz family for their kindness and generosity.”