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According to the United Nations, South Africa’s rural population is just over 33%. However, this alarming reality has led to a remarkable initiative caring for tens of thousands through quality, nutritious food.
To address the growing food insecurity crisis in South Africa long-term, South Africa’s largest non-profit food redistribution organisation, FoodForward SA (FFSA), has successfully launched its first Mobile Rural Depot (MRD) in Vryheid, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
According to FoodForward SA (FFSA), while South Africa is food secure at the national level, the country is still food insecure at a household level.
Food security is not just about just having sufficient supplies. It also requires food accessibility, affordability, nutrition, and stability over time. And this is where the challenge lies.
Moreover, the new Vryheid addition now brings the total number of Mobile Rural Depots in KwaZulu Natal to five (Pietermaritzburg, Empangeni, Margate, Ladysmith and Vryheid). Collectively, the five MRDs in KZN enable FoodForward SA to feed 35,750 rural-based people through 120 different NPOs, with the Vryheid MRD reaching 2,600 vulnerable people alone.
FoodForward SA established the Mobile Rural Depot (MRD) programme in 2019 to address rural food insecurity sustainably.
Once a month, FoodForward SA’s trucks travel to designated areas in rural communities (the ‘mobile depots’) to deliver food provisions consisting of healthy, fresh produce and groceries to vetted beneficiary organisations.
FoodForward SA connects a world of excess to a world of need by recovering quality edible surplus food from the consumer goods supply chain and distributing it to community organisations that serve the poor. More than 80% of the food recovered is nutritious food.
The Vryheid Mobile Rural Depot allows for 23 beneficiary organisations serving orphans and vulnerable children; at-risk youth; women recovering from abuse; and people suffering from chronic diseases, including HIV/AIDS, within and around the rural precinct, to easily access and collect quality surplus food monthly.
FoodForward SA recovers quality surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers and distributes this food to over 800,000 disadvantaged people daily to address food insecurity at scale.
“In recent years, our focus has shifted to impact more vulnerable rural communities, as they have fewer resources and limited access to nutritious food,” says Andy Du Plessis, MD of FoodForward SA.
As FoodForward SA positively impacts the Vryheid community and other towns and cities, the organisation thanks those who make the initiative possible.
Other businesses and companies who contribute can be found here:
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