The Western Cape Department of Social Development has made an additional R25 million available for food relief programmes in the province.

MEC of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez said, since the special R350 COVID-19 grant has come to an end there is concern for thousands of vulnerable people.

COVID-19 HAS WORSENED FOOD CRISIS

The Department currently provides daily nutritional support to 14 685 beneficiaries via 104 Community Nutritional Development Centres. Funded sites has also been strengthened to feed an additional 3 760 beneficiaries to address food insecurity within vulnerable communities.

“We remain aware of the food crisis that we are facing in the City, Province and country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact thereof,” said Fernandez.

She added that, whilst the provincial Department of Social Development has made additional funding available for humanitarian relief, thousands of vulnerable people will find themselves without any form of state support as a result of the special R350 COVID grant that came to an end on 30 April 2021.

SASSA remains the lead agency charged with social support to the poor in terms of Chapter 3 of the Social Assistance Act. This legislative mandate covers food parcels, vouchers, amongst other forms of social relief of distress. 

VOUCHER SYSTEM TO PROVIDE FOOD RELIEF TO 15 000

The Department has partnered with NGOs to complement existing service delivery by providing support to 353 community kitchens to provide relief to an additional 107 450 beneficiaries.

The Department has also partnered with an established service provider to pilot a voucher system to 250 identified community kitchens to provide relief to 15 000 beneficiaries.

“I am aware that many organisations and people are suffering from donor fatigue at this stage. However, I believe that for us to get through this challenging period, each of us has a part to play. Only through a whole of society approach, engaging all sectors of society, can we fight food insecurity in the Western Cape,” said Fernandez.

READ: SASSA latest: R350 grant ‘could now be extended beyond April’

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Presh JM Reporter

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