As we are all aware and as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant implications, South Africa went into lockdown on 26 March 2020 and at the time of this article remained in lockdown, although under less strenuous restrictions.
During this time, as in many other parts of the world, the country faced some challenging times. In Vanwyksdorp the GCBR’s Jobs for Carbon (J4C) team decided to be proactive in addressing some of the most critical issues.
A meeting was called, information was exchanged and agreement was reached to support the local community. Members from the community that were able, were called upon to make donations. Excitingly therefore, on 13 April 2020, J4C set up a soup kitchen, thereby taking the lead by having a positive influence on the community!
The biggest challenge was to support a local Early Childhood Centre in feeding its children. Ladies who play an integral role in Landcare (partners in some of the J4C work) and who are currently unemployed also required to be fed. Soup was provided to the children at the school twice weekly, whilst the Landcare team received five meals a week. In a quid pro quo arrangement, the Landcare ladies took turns in assisting with the preparation of meals.
The J4C’s highest priority was to ensure that the soups and stews provided were healthy, nutritious and high in vitamins and minerals, because these meals may have been the only one of the day for some.
Feeding so many mouths with little funding required careful planning, intensive labour and working in kitchens not equipped for projects this size. But in spite of these challenges, the team served 2,310 meals in a seven week period.
The team is proud to have made a significant difference in responding to a community in need and in guaranteeing that no-one went to bed hungry.