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Hungry children can’t thrive

An estimated seven million South Africans cannot feed themselves according to the local feeding oriented non-profit organisation 2nd Harvest, which held its annual breakfast event on Friday 31 August.

The Paarl-based organisation is determined to prepare 50 000 meals for the underprivileged per day. Co-founders Mark Maingard and Marais Greyling said it is their goal to feed this number of people by December 2020. They currently feed about 25 000 people per day.

Maingard, who has 20 years of experience in the food industry, said he wanted to use his knowledge about this industry to help others. He and Greyling then started the organisation in July 2016.

In an attempt to combat hunger 2nd Harvest provides nutritionally balanced meals for soup kitchens across South Africa.

In February 2016 they prepared their first pot of soup and gave it to Magda Meyer who operates a well known soup kitchen in Paarl East.

“Their was such a massive need to feed people,” said Maingard.

“And with my interaction within needy communities I hear horrific stories of, for example, children who out of desperation eat wet newspaper to fill their stomachs.”

This NPO is supported by technical advisor Estelle van der Linde who has a PhD in neurodevelopment. Van der Linde explained the organisation provides children with a porridge called Vita Kidz that contains 70% of the vitamins and minerals a child needs per day. She said a morning serving of porridge is in often the only meal a child gets for the day but she added it makes the children “energetic and alert”.

At the event last week she demonstrated how the porridge is made. Each child receives a shaker with water and a packet of dry porridge. The children are given the responsibility to prepare their own porridge and wash their own cups. “We believe the best way to challenge hunger is through education,” she said.

2nd Harvest’s management said that their dream of preparing 50 000 meals per day is expensive and they will not be able to do it unless they get “the support and assistance of potential funders, corporates and individuals to achieve our goals,” said Maingard.

He also mentioned although 2nd Harvest is an NPO they treat it as a business to achieve goals and objectives.

Those who want to pledge can email the organisation on info@2ndharvest.org.za

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