From the news desk

Soaring food prices a worry for feeding schemes

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As the drought worsens in parts of the country, the increase in food prices has not only impacted consumers but also community-based projects. One such initiative is the Peninsula School Feeding Association, a non-profit organization, which was inspired by a call from community members to assist in improving the learning ability of pupils.

Established in 1958, the organization conducts feeding schemes on a daily basis and currently feeds 26 500 learners, at 143 schools – “It is often the only meals that learners receive in a day.”

As a means to assist in alleviating the issue of food deprivation within communities, the feeding schemes developed by Western Cape Education Department assists 1023 schools. The Department, through its various feeding schemes, provide learners with two meals daily.

Provincial MEC for Education, Debbie Schafer, explained that despite an increased allocation of R16 million, the Department’s feeding schemes are threatened by the increase in food prices, a problem which is compounded by an influx of pupils into the province.

She, however, affirmed that a reduction in food portion sizes is a last resort for the department.

Financial manager at the Peninsula School Feeding Association, Morne Goosen, explained that cooperate and individual donors are the organization’s main stream of funding – “the life line of any NGO.”

The logistical operations of the organization, he noted, is run from a warehouse that is based in Airport Industria. In addition, the organization employs dedicated staff and has a fleet vehicles dedicated to distribution.

Goosen further asserted that the increase in food prices has drastically affected the operation of the organization.

He explained that the ‘year on year’ increase in 2016 was a staggering 41 per cent, while the normal increase is between 8 and 10 per cent.

Despite the alarming food prices, he explained that the organization has developed contingency plans to cope with the increase – “a short term solution.”

“The drought is definitely affecting stock quantities, and has a knock-on effect.”

The organization has to facilitate a cost effective service, in most instances seeks out the source of food supplies.

“We believe that you cannot teach a hungry child and, therefore, request the assistance of all South Africans and corporates,” Goosen concluded.

For more information and to assist, contact fundraising manager, Charles Grey:
(021) 447-6020. Alternatively, visit: www.psfa.org.za.


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