(East London) – Hemingways Mall has set an ambitious target of packing 250 000 nutritious meals for the hungry as part of the international Stop Hunger Now campaign for Mandela Day.
On Sunday, July 17, the mall will go beyond the traditional 67 minutes of community service to host an eight-hour marathon food parcel packing session during the Border region’s first ever Stop Hunger Now event.
Should the quarter million target be reached, it will be enough to provide 967 local children with five square meals per week for a whole year. Each parcel contains an easy-to-cook, dehydrated rice or soya meal, which is fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients.
Hemingways Mall marketing manager Estee Roos said all meals packed would be served to needy families and charitable organisations within the Buffalo City metropolitan area.
“This is particularly important for us as we feel a strong responsibility to support and serve the vulnerable members of our community,” said Roos.
She said the mall would host four 67-minute packing sessions between 10am and 6pm, with each of the 15 production lines manned by 20 volunteers per timeslot.
In order to ensure the success of the event, Roos said at least 1 200 pairs of hands would be needed on the day.
“It’s a massive logistical challenge and we encourage the East London public to take just an hour out of their Sunday to help make this happen.”
Assisting Hemingways Mall to achieve its goals are a few community-minded businesses and corporates, who have committed to sponsoring production lines at a cost of R10 000 per line as well as bringing their employees to pack on the day.
“For those companies still looking for a worthy cause to support on Mandela Day, there can be no better investment than Stop Hunger Now,” said Roos, adding that a few production line sponsorships were still available for purchase.
She said the organisers would assist those companies who could not field enough packers to fill a line by sourcing additional volunteers on their behalf.
“The meals they pack will be distributed to our sponsors’ selected charities or, alternatively, we will help to identify vulnerable beneficiaries.”
To ensure that the production lines ran like clockwork, Roos said the mall had invited 120 members of high school community service clubs and leadership bodies to coordinate the effort.
“They will be assisting on the day by managing and educating volunteers and by keeping the supply of ingredients flowing to the lines.”
She added that volunteers were not limited to corporate teams or schools and that anyone could donate their time.
“We particularly invite families to come on down and help us on the day. It’s the ideal opportunity for families to spend quality time doing something uplifting for those in need and for teaching children about the importance of helping others.”
The Hemingways Mall event is one of three Stop Hunger Now events being held throughout the Eastern Cape and Garden Route. It is also the first time that the campaign will move beyond South African borders, with meals being packed at 25 venues across the globe to meet an international target of 10 million meals between July 13 and 20.
Corporates wishing to sponsor a production line should contact Nadia Reddy at Stop Hunger Now SA on 011 872 2498 or 079 897 9175 or email email@example.com.