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Churches’ bid to address hunger

SOMERSET WEST – The New Generation church has partnered with three local churches in the basin on initiatives that curb hunger and “flatten the curve” by providing front-line workers with layered masks.

#masks4theBasin is one of the initiatives headed by the Somerset West church, which provides the admin staff and porters at Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital and various nursing homes with masks.

Soon after the President called for a nationwide lockdown a number of women congregants started sewing masks, which they delivered and donated to those in need. This gave rise to #masks4theBasin.

“The hashtag simply speaks to our goal, which is to ensure that everyone has a mask in hand and that finances aren’t a barrier,” said Carolyn Cramer of the New Generation church.

To date, more than 1 000 masks have been sewn and supplied to groups who’ve requested them. Some of the nursing homes and organisations that have benefited from the #masks4Basin initiative include Serenitas, Huis Jan Swart, the Helderberg Stroke Support Group and any recipient of Taste+See food parcels.

Similar to #masks4theBasin, Taste+See is another initiative that falls under the auspices of the New Generation church.

Roles in the Taste+See initiative are shared among four congregations – the New Generation church, Liberty Family church, Shofar Somerset West and Doxa Deo Somerset West.

According to Cramer, Taste+See was launched in April to meet the urgent need to feed people who, due to lockdown, have no means of earning an income and feeding their families.

“At this stage we are increasingly concerned about foreign nationals who have no means of earning an income as they don’t qualify for government grants,” she said. “The situation is desperate. We have a waiting list of families hoping for a food parcel and not enough funds to feed all who are in need.”

To feed more people the four congregations have refined their food parcels, reducing their cost to R250 each, which will feed a family of four for a week.

“People can get involved in several ways,” Cramer said. “They, firstly, can make a financial contribution, 100% of which will go to feeding a family in need; secondly, they can volunteer to help with logistics and packing food parcels at the Refinery building.

“Thirdly, businesses can make donations of food – especially fresh produce. And finally, people can help us by spreading the word and sharing our website URL, which is www.tasteandsee.org.za.”

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