Environment KFC tackles childhood hunger during the Covid-19 lockdown

KFC tackles childhood hunger during the Covid-19 lockdown

Fast-food chain continues to "Add Hope" during lockdown

About 60% of children in South Africa live below the poverty line and many receive their only meal of the day at school.

But the Covid-19 lockdown has forced school closures, affecting about nine million children across SA – leaving many families living below the breadline wondering where their next meal will be coming from.

In response, KFC Africa has marshalled their Add Hope programme and network to help provide meals for hungry families during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A taste of some initiatives

  • Before lockdown, and in partnership with Afrika Tikkun, KFC Africa distributed more than 4,000 emergency food parcels with enough provisions to last families three weeks. Burgersfort (North West), Ga Mashamtane (Limpopo), Olievenhoutbosch, Orange Farm, Diepsloot Alexandra, Johannesburg Inner City, and Mfuleni (Western Cape) were just a few of the areas that benefited.
  • In the 1000 Hills Area of Kwazulu-Natal, 150 big and 300 smaller emergency food parcels were distributed.
  • More than 31,000 people received food parcels thanks to the hard work of more than 100 staff at various beneficiary organisations to ensure distribution.

“The school closures due to Covid-19, though absolutely necessary, are devastating as many children who were used to receiving a meal a day at school are now going without.”

KFC Africa’s Akhona Qengqe

“This leaves those whose families who have no income, as well as child-headed households incredibly vulnerable – further exacerbating an already dire situation,” says Akhona Qengqe, Chief People Officer at KFC Africa.

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Perpetuating cycles of poverty and violence

Childhood hunger is one of this country’s most pressing challenges and millions of children in South Africa go hungry every day. Hunger compromises their health and development, affects their ability to concentrate, makes them more likely to get sick and miss school, and putting children at an increased risk of developing mental health issues.

It also perpetuates cycles of poverty, violence and malnutrition.

“We have a critical responsibility to act in the interest of the South African nation and this means continuing to support the communities we serve through our Add Hope programme.

Children who form part of KFC’s Add Hope project (Image: Facebook)

“Today, more than ever, we need South Africa to feel hope and we will continue our feeding efforts to the most vulnerable in our society.”

Akhona Qengqe

Over 30 million meals a year

Add Hope has been filling tummies since 2009, raising money through customer donations added at the till or on the Add Hope website. KFC also donates a percentage of its profits.

Today it provides more than 30 million meals a year to more than 150,000 children through its implementation partners – more than 140 non-profit organisations such as early childhood development centres and school feeding schemes.

Want to see how you can help? Go to https://order.kfc.co.za/addhope

Share your Covid-19 #lockdown experiences on our Facebook group, Lockdown Diaries South Africa.