Pretoria initiative aims to ‘stop hunger’

(Pretoria) – Kicking off a long-term campaign to alleviate hunger in impoverished communities, volunteers celebrated Human Rights Day by pouring into Centurion’s Forest Hill City mall and packing 10 000 food parcels for residents of the Mooiplaas squatter camp.

The settlement’s 14 000 inhabitants – many unemployed with no access to running water or electricity in the unserviced portion of Centurion – are among Pretoria’s most vulnerable community members.

Forest Hill City marketing manager Annah Moremela said figures released by non-governmental organisation Stop Hunger Now showed that 3.1-million South African children faced chronic hunger on a daily basis.

“By joining the Stop Hunger Now campaign, we are doing our bit to reduce those numbers within our own community,” said Moremela.

She said each of the food parcels – which will be delivered to the Mooiplaas daycare centre – comprised a nutritious combination of rice, soya mince and beans, and would feed six people.

“One of our business objectives is to give back to our community and, by doing so, we also endorse the true spirit of ubuntu, which means ‘we are who we are through others’.”

Moremela said the day had been a great success, with participation from mall staff as well as 90 members of the public, including congregants of the Hatfield Christian Church.

Forest Hill City is one of a number of malls owned by the Billion Group participating in this year’s Stop Hunger SA campaign, which aims to reach 100 000 beneficiaries by December.

Public and private sector organisations are invited to purchase the raw ingredients from the NGO and pack food parcels as a community and team-building initiative. The next major food-packing events will take place in the lead-up to international Nelson Mandela Day on July 17.