Feeding the vast number of people who have lost their livelihoods because of Covid-19 is a mammoth task being undertaken by several organisations including non-governmental ones such as Gift of the Givers and FoodForward SA – both of which are receiving assistance from Hyundai SA.
Eight vehicles – five H100 trucks, one H-1 Bus and two Grand i10 Cargo panel vans – are being donated to Gift of the Givers and FoodForward South Africa. The organisations will use the vehicles in their drive to get food to communities where families have no income and a severe food shortage due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Two of the H100 trucks and the H-1 Bus will go to Gift of the Givers, while FoodForward SA is to receive three H100 trucks and two Grand i10 Cargo panel vans. The H100 trucks will be fitted with closed canopies donated by Beekman.
“As an automotive company, it made sense for us to donate vehicles available for the transport of food and staff of the two organisations to bring urgent relief to fellow South Africans who are experiencing hunger and hardship due to circumstances that are completely out of their control,” says Niall Lynch, CEO of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
“This initiative forms part of the Hyundai Motor Company’s global drive to improve the lives of people who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. These efforts include, among others, the provision of vehicles to frontline personnel to improve their mobility when they need it the most.
“The Hyundai Motor Company is working closely with governments all over the world to support communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic in the form of donations, medical equipment and personal protection items. Locally, Hyundai Automotive South Africa has identified the provision of food as an urgent intervention and we believe Gift of the Givers and FoodForward SA are very well-geared to give such relief,” said Lynch.
The mission of Gift of the Givers, a non-governmental organization started by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman in 1992, is to provide nutritious food to impoverished children and families who are suffering in South Africa due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Gift of the Givers has worked in many countries around the world and is the largest disaster relief group of African origin.
“Gift of the Givers values the generous contribution. The three Hyundai vehicles couldn’t have come at a more opportune time to increase our logistical capability in ferrying medical teams, delivering food and transporting essential medical supplies and protective wear to frontline health care workers, the SA Police Service and the general public in all nine provinces in South Africa, including many deeply rural areas,” says Sooliman.
FoodForward SA, established in 2009 to address widespread hunger in South Africa, has a permit to remain open during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it is working with a range of social partners to feed insecure households through its network of registered beneficiary organisations. The organisation relies on corporate and individual partners to implement its cost-effective solution to address hunger and promote social change.
Andy du Plessis, managing director of FoodForward SA, said before the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa had 30-million people living below the poverty line and that millions of people, such as informal traders and day-job seekers, were surviving by earning a daily income. Many small businesses were also struggling to stay afloat; the country was in yet another recession – and then the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
“It is safe to assume the Covid-19 collision will be severe and far reaching, both in the short and long term. People relying on social grants will now have to stretch this meagre amount to help more family members.
“Most informal traders and day-job seekers do not have any form of savings or medical insurance, and millions of people do not have the necessary funds to buy food to survive. Therefore, creating better access to food for the poor is critical now and in the coming months,” says Du Plessis.
“In partnership with our various stakeholders, FoodForward SA is committed to scaling up so that households in vulnerable communities receive proper food provisions. Thank you to all our food and financial donors for your generosity and for caring enough to make a difference.”