Press release: World Food Day 2020 Challenge – daily meals for 20,000 children for 20 months

Durban, South Africa – 2020 has been a rough year as we have witnessed the global pandemic change almost every aspect of our daily lives. Though this time will forever be remembered as a time of frustration, loss, change, panic and pivoting, the DO MORE FOUNDATION wants it to also be the year that South Africans come together to #DoMore.

Young children enjoying a healthy snack at their ECD Centre in a KZN community

According to DO MORE FOUNDATION Executive and Trustee, Warren Farrer, since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, the DO MORE FOUNDATION has been working tirelessly to ensure the vulnerable children of South Africa are not left behind. “Together with 147 partners from the private, public and NGO sector we have been able to provide over 7.6 million meals to vulnerable children and their families across all 9 provinces.”

He adds that whilst the lockdown regulations have eased, the hunger pandemic in South Africa continues to grow due to increased job losses and rising cases of malnutrition among our country’s most vulnerable group – young children. Working together to find a longer-term solution to South Africa’s growing hunger pandemic, the DO MORE FOUNDATION has set themselves a very ambitious goal leading up to World Food Day 2020 on 16 October 2020.

 A passionate ECD Centre principal preparing porridge for her students pre-covid-19

Farrer says that the NPO aims to secure nutritional meals for 20,000 vulnerable young children every school day for the next 20 months. “Through the production of a highly fortified DO MORE sorghum porridge, provided by our founder RCL FOODS, we are able to provide a nutritious meal to a young child at their ECD Centres every school day for an entire month for as little as R20.”

You may be asking “Will my R20 a month really make a difference?” Farrer believes it will and offers the following reasons why:

  1. Currently 2.5 million young children in South Africa are living below the food poverty line. This means that there is not enough money in the household to cover even basic nutritional needs. And, as we know, no child can learn on an empty stomach. By providing a daily meal you are giving a child the energy to learn every school day for 20 months.
  • Early childhood is the most vital phase of human development, with 90% of brain growth taking place before the age of five. Without adequate nutrition and early stimulation during these fundamental years, children are unable to develop as they should, which can have a serious impact on their future health and economic prospects. Unfortunately, this is already the case for 27% of young children in SA who are stunted which means we are writing off a third of our child population before the age of 5 years old. Your monthly contribution will not only provide young children with the nutrition they need but also play a key role in stopping the spread of stunting in our vulnerable communities.
  • Finally, 68% of Early Childhood Development operators have reported that caregivers have stopped paying fees after the nationwide closure on 18 March. This is because these programmes primarily serve poor and vulnerable communities whose household incomes have been severely constrained by the crisis. Providing food to young children at these Centres is a massive incentive for parents to send their children back to school.

By taking up the challenge to #DoMore in 2020, you are not just giving a child the energy to learn, you are encouraging their parents to send their child back to pre-school (ECD Centres) and supporting passionate ECD practitioners and principals, who have dedicated their lives to these young children, to keep their learning centres running in order to nurture and stimulate young minds.

“The fight against hunger is just beginning and what better way to celebrate World Food Day than to dedicate the next 20 months to ensuring 20,000 children receive the nutrition they need to thrive?  In the true spirit of UBUNTU we need to rally together to ensure our children are not left behind. For as little as R20 a month you can sponsor one of these children a meal a day and help us create a better tomorrow. Together we can #DoMore,” Farrer concludes.

To make your donation go to: Various payment methods including Zapper, Paypal, Snapscan and credit/debit card payments are available.

Discover how to prevent and protect yourself from the COVID-19 pandemic here.