Helderberg Ubuntu Feeds grows

Zolile Weduwedu distributing protein supplements, supplied by Woodlands Dairy, to children in Nomzamo.

HelderbergUbuntu Feeds, the brainchild of Sub-council 24 chair, Stuart Pringle, modelled on the community feeding scheme in Franschhoek, has made significant strides in feeding the hungry, and in attracting donors to bolster its war chest.

Driven jointly by Mr Pringle and Somerset West Rotary Club president-elect, Eppie McFarlane, Helderberg Ubuntu Feeds was established at the beginning of lockdown by councillors in the Helderberg, the City of Cape Town’s disaster risk management department, the Rotary Club of Somerset West, and NPOs in the Helderberg.

“Helderberg Ubuntu Feeds’ mission is to provide ongoing disaster relief in the form of food parcels and meals to the vulnerable in communities in the Helderberg,” Ms McFarlane told Bolander on Saturday.

“By NPOs we loosely mean the numerous organisations on the ground who are working in vulnerable communities. This joining of hands includes the Somerset West Rotary Club as the financial channel through which donations are received, and funds are provided to purchase goods. Donors should note that a Section 18A donations income tax certificate can be requested.”

“Donations of goods – specifically non-perishable meal ingredients – can be delivered to Helderberg Crime Watch (HCW) offices, corner Victoria and Sergeant streets, Somerset West, at any time. These items are supplied to soup kitchens and other outlets providing meals for the needy in their communities.”

The financial donations are used to buy specific types of non-perishable foods, which are made up and packaged for distribution by Tony McPherson’s McPherson Foundation.

In addition, the McPherson Foundation also funds the contents of a number of food parcels, for distribution by Helderberg Ubuntu Feeds. These food parcels will typically sustain a family of four for a week.

“We’ve been packing and distributing 100 such food parcels each week for the last three weeks,” Ms McFarlane said, “and we plan to continue while funds permit.”

“The distribution of food parcels is strictly according to need. No food parcels are handed out at random,” Mr Pringle told Bolander. “I’m in communication with leaders in all the communities we support, who help me to draw up lists of families in need, so that we can be sure they get the help they require.”

Delivery of food parcels is done by Helderberg Crime Watch to the NPOs working in each community, and the food parcels are delivered in accordance with the list for the area. “We do our best to ensure the physical and health security of all volunteers involved, by minimising contact and only allowing those with permission to render essential services to do so,” Ms McFarlane said, who added that the response to the call for donations has been wonderful.

“Blue Ribbon Bakery supplies us with 80 loaves for freshly baked bread every Friday morning, which go to local feeding schemes and soup kitchens. Woodlands Dairy recently donated 5 000 protein recovery drinks which were distributed to children in the various communities.”

“Vergelegen wine estate contacted me recently, having heard about our initiative and wanted to contribute,” Ms McFarlane said.

“Two-hundreds meals a day will be provided for distribution in the communities, seven days a week, 100 a day each from Camphors Restaurant and Stables Restaurant, a donation that will endure until the end of October. These meals will reach the wider Helderberg area – from Macassar to Gordon’s Bay, and from the coast to the mountain. Starting on Thursday May 14, the meals will be prepared in the morning for collection at 1pm, and distribution to target communities and beneficiaries in the afternoon, in accordance with a pre-defined list.”

Target communities for these meals on a rotational basis are Somerset West, including Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Chris Nissen Park and Garden Village; Nomzamo and Lwandle; Macassar; and Rusthof.

“We have received numerous financial donations from large and small donors including many community members and Rotarians who have made more modest contributions. All of this helps us help relieve the tremendous need that is out there.”

Ms McFarlane also said that she had been successful in securing a grant of R10 000 from the Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Fund, which will fund 100 food parcels, and also ingredients for a number of soup kitchens for a period.

“It is imperative that we impress on donors, communities and recipients that we need to work together to ensure that as many people are helped as possible, and to avoid ‘double dipping’ where some take double advantage of donations at the expense of others getting nothing. Attempts are being made to create a Helderberg-wide database to assist in this regard.”

For more information or to contribute, contact Stuart Pringle on 082 446 1520, or Eppie McFarlane on 082 555 1014 or helderberg