George Municipality will continue delivery of food parcels to vulnerable households this week as part of its ongoing compassionate community outreach during the Covid-19 crisis.
The municipality food parcels project serves as interim relief while the Western Cape Department of Social Development mobilises to take up their mandate in this regard.
George Municipality commenced with the distribution of 150 food parcels to the first round of most needy households on Good Friday, which was made up from donated stock. Another 100 parcels will be distributed tomorrow (13 April) with provisions bought with municipal funds.
George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the municipality was in the process of buying and packing even more food, and parcels would be distributed this week.
“With the assistance of ward councillors in vulnerable communities and the registered indigent households list as reference, the most needy households are being identified. The parcels contain food ingredients for a household of five people for seven days and are being funded by George Municipality Disaster Management resources,” said Mr Botha.
In addition to the interim food parcels project, the George Municipality continues its own compassionate community outreach which includes the feeding of thousands of people twice a day, every day, at more than 100 home-based soup kitchens in vulnerable communities across the municipal area as well as up to 80 people at the temporary shelter for the homeless at Rosemoor Stadium.
The municipality has an existing soup kitchens programme that under usual circumstances would supply a meal three times a week to mainly children, the elderly, disabled and sick with a current available budget of R1,3-million. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the soup kitchen programme has been extended to more than triple its usual capacity to help thousands more in the communities where they live with two meals a day, seven days a week.
It is in this context the municipality established the Covid-19 drive-through donation centre at City Hall and the municipality will in weeks to come heavily depend on support from all sources. “We are acutely aware of the far-reaching implications of the lockdown and anticipate the impact on communities to extend beyond the lockdown period and current available funds. With this in mind, we are managing stocks for the soup kitchens and homeless shelter with a long-term approach to maximise the benefit to our communities as whole,” said Mr Botha.
The George Municipality received several donations of vegetables and perishables perfect for the making of large pots of food, which was purposed towards soup kitchens and the homeless so the largest possible community could benefit while the food was still fresh. “The George Municipality reiterates its commitment to the community as a whole and disputes politically motivated and unfounded allegations that food did not reach the communities for which it was intended. Our entire municipality and all who live here are affected by this lockdown – we appeal to everyone to put personal and political agendas aside, to share resources and fight the impact of this virus as a united city. We are in this together and we need everyone to do their bit to address the long-term, bigger picture.
“We thank everyone who has selflessly given of their time, food and other resources and ask that you continue doing so for as long as you can. Our people are our solution,” said Mr Botha.
The George Municipality reminds people requiring food assistance to register on the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) database on details below and that the current food parcel service by the municipality is an interim bridging service to help our neediest households while the DSD gets its processes in place. We will make every effort to assist as many people as possible with the resources available.
The municipality welcomes donations of food, hygiene and sanitary products, clothes, blankets and other supplies at its drive-through donation centre at City Hall. The stop-and-drop centre is open 8am-6pm on weekdays and 8am-5pm on weekends and public holidays.
People using online grocery delivery services wanting to donate, can make up an online basket and enter the delivery address as Drive-through centre City Hall, 71 York Street, George.
Types of items that will make a big difference include mielie meal, wheat flour, yeast, milk, sugar, salt, coffee, tea, samp, beans, macaroni, soup powder, stock and fresh or frozen vegetables and meat. Cleaning products such as dishwashing liquid, sponges, dishcloths, bleach, all-purpose cleaner and handwash laundry soap and hygiene products such as soap and hand cream will be welcome.
There is also a need for clothing for men, women and children at the homeless shelter.
Persons requiring food parcel assistance must please continue to register on the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD). Members of the public can also phone 0800 220 250 for DSD general queries and 0860 142 142 for donation requests and offers or send a Please Call Me to 079 769 1207, or email firstname.lastname@example.org The George office of the Department Social Development can be contacted on 044 814 1920 during office hours.