The UCOOK Food Fund, launched just over seven weeks ago, has raised over R1 million to fund food supplies to communities in need in South Africa.
The initiative was launched by UCOOK, in partnership with FoodForward South Africa, the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI) and Ladles of Love, in an effort to help fight hunger resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak and resultant lockdown.
UCOOK CEO David Torr confirmed today that the Fund raised a total of R500 000 from public donations, with the balance donated by UCOOK. “I’m extremely proud to say that this money has already gone towards the packing and distributing of nutritious meals to feed many needy people in Cape Town, with a specific focus on the Philippi area.”
Amy Murgatroyd, UCOOK’s Social & Environmental Impact Coordinator, says, “The lockdown in our country has intensified an already prolific problem – hunger. Our partners have made it possible to not only support small farming operations, but also reach those most in need in an efficient way.”
The partners involved in the UCOOK Food Fund are grateful for how well the campaign has been received. Christopher D’Aiuto from PEDI says “The UCOOK Food Fund has enabled farmers to continue earning a collective income of over R140 000 through this difficult period, and allowed us to deliver food parcels to families in need.
Finding partners like UCOOK and Ladles of Love who are so committed to helping feed people across Cape Town has made continuing to work under the stresses of a pandemic worthwhile and even fun.
We’ve accomplished so much more together than we could have done alone. We look forward to working on new projects together after this crisis has subsided.”
Most recently, PEDI has redirected their efforts to ensure that food grown by farmers is going directly back to the communities from which it came. They’re putting together fresh vegetable packs and distributing them to help fight hunger resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director of Food Forward SA, says, “Since the start of the lockdown we have seen the demand for food escalate sharply. Thanks to UCOOK’s support, we were able to provide thousands of vulnerable people with food support at a very difficult time.”
Danny Diliberto, Founder of Ladles of Love says that being a part of the campaign has allowed Ladles of Love to collaborate with different organisations to really assist those in need. “It has been a wonderful example of the circle of giving and receiving where those that have are able to connect with those that don’t through various organisations. It has been the true spirit of Ubuntu.”
Donations are still open for those who would like to help during this crisis, and the proceeds will continue to support the efforts of PEDI and Ladles of Love in growing, packing and delivering healthy food parcels. Every rand raised will go towards ensuring that the people affected most by the economic fallout have enough nutritious food to eat every day.