Stellenbosch residents have rallied together to support those in dire need during the Covid-19 lockdown.
A number of Stellenbosch organizations have come together to help the most vulnerable members of their community during the pandemic. Working under the umbrella banner of Stellenbosch Unite, the collaboration is between Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch University, tourism organization Visit Stellenbosch, the Stellenbosch Civil Advocacy Network which represents non-profit community action groups, Ranyaka, and the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust.
Stellenbosch Unite is providing food aid to vulnerable members of the community and their families. These are individuals who have lost their incomes due to the impact that the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have had on the town. These individuals include informal workers such as car guards, garbage pickers, domestic worker or gardeners, or members of the hospitality sector.
They have no other income as a result of the current situation. Stellenbosch Unite head coordinator, Jeanneret Momberg, current General Manager of Visit Stellenbosch, explains: “These most vulnerable members of our community are the people that we used to see every day on the streets and in the restaurants and bars of our town, or who work in the homes of Stellenbosch residents. They have lost their entire income and we have to help and alleviate their situation wherever we can.”
Food parcels being prepared for distribution in the Stellenbosch community
A member of the Stellenbosch community receives her food from the local community coordinator
The most pressing need is money. “We desperately need donations of any size. The cost to feed the 3300 families that we support is approximately R270 000 per week. So far through the immense generosity of visitors to Stellenbosch, local residents and companies based in the town, we have raised approximately R915 000, but we need more,” said Momberg. Apart from the money that has been raised, local farmers have donated over 15 tons of food to the appeal in the last two weeks.
Costing approximately R80 per parcel, Momberg appealed to Stellenbosch residents, previous visitors to the town, Stellenbosch University Alumni, and local businesses to donate whatever they can. “Eighty Rand is less than $5.00, so if you are in the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Japan, or Johannesburg, please consider how you can help the community that you have enjoyed visiting, staying in, or studying in.”
A food parcel consists of: 1kg maize meal, 1 kg rice, 500g soup mix, 500g dry beans, 2 x packets soup powder, 2 x tins of baked beans, 1 x packet of salt, 1 x Sunlight soap.