Photo Credit: The Angel Network

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead. Charities are making a difference in SA!


South Africa (21 April 2020)Earlier this month, we shared a post rounding up a few charities and organisations that were helping to feed the nation.

We receive emails and messages every day, highlighting the heroes that are raising funds, cooking food and venturing into the communities to distribute. We are once again, going to share with you, the people who are going above and beyond during this lockdown.

It is no secret that the lockdown has meant millions of people go hungry. It is a fact that has inspired hundreds of South Africans to take action. We have received more emails and messages than we can count from people making food parcels for the vulnerable.

To make sure each story is told, we have compiled all the food heroes in one place. These are the people and projects that are helping to feed the nation during the lockdown. They are trying to feed everyone so if you can assist in any way; you can click through to their Facebook pages to connect.

Operation Hunger

Operation Hunger has a history of positive action in the fight against malnutritionin South Africa’s homes, schools and communities at large and they are stepping up during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Established in 1980, Operation Hunger has a history of positive action in the fight against malnutrition in South Africa’s homes, schools and communities at large.

“In 40 years of working we continue to build strong partnerships with business, communities, social development agencies, civil society to enable inclusive, innovative, measurable, tailored community programming responses to eradicate hunger, household food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms.”

The communities in which Operation Hunger operates are generally situated in deeply rural areas or sprawling informal settlements with little or no basic services, very few resources and minimal health care systems.

Cans with purpose

When Cape Town businessman Brad Stern realised the impact that the national shutdown would have on these children, he was inspired to launch an initiative to help.

“It is a heart-breaking reality that needs as much attention as possible. These children need help and so do the organisations that work with them – my mission was to provide help,” he said.

The initiative, ‘Cans With Purpose’, quickly gained traction with hardware and electronics corporation, Acer doing their part to support this worthy cause. In just 14 days, Cans With Purpose has raised over R250 000, which has been donated to Afrika Tikkun, an organisation that works to provide nutritious meals to children across South Africa.

Ladles of Love

Volunteer-run soup kitchen Ladles of Love is feeding an estimated 1,000 homeless during the lockdown in Cape Town’s CBD and the organisation is in dire need of as many monetary and non-perishable goods donations as possible.

This is according to Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto, who says they need to muster as much support as possible so that the team of volunteers can cook and provide around 2,000 nutritious meals a day (breakfast and lunch), to at least 1,000 people in the CBD’s lock-down shelters.

“We have committed with the city to assist the homeless with food for their temporary shelters they are erecting in the CBD and therefore on going donations are key during this challenging time.”

He continues: “We will definitely be supporting these sites with two meals daily, and if another site becomes available in the CBD we will do our best to support this as well, depending on monetary and food donations.”

“We are focusing on working with The Haven Night Shelters in Greenpoint and District Six, as well as the Culemborg Safe Space, to help serve the guys still wandering the streets and I have been trying to direct them there as much as possible so that we can feed as many as possible.”

With the huge amount of food needed during this challenging time, donations are key.


In the fight against the Coronavirus COVID-19 thousands of homeless and vulnerable people in the city are faced with a great safety dilemma – where to self-isolate to avoid the spread of the virus.

Inner-city NPO Mould Empower Serve (MES), which operates in Hillbrow, Cape Town, Kempton Park and Port Elizabeth, has stepped in to help the marginalised people of these inner cities during this critical time. Since the official announcement by president Mr Cyril Ramaphosa declaring a national lockdown, MES has kept its shelter operations and food distribution points open to help the high numbers of vulnerable people who came to their doorstep for assistance.

The call for all citizens to stay at home to help flatten-the-curve of the COVID-19 has proven effective when implemented in other countries across the world. However, South Africa also hosts hundreds of thousands of homeless people with no place to find shelter even under normal circumstances, especially those in the inner-city metropolitan areas in the country.

Ikamva Labantu

In the early 1960s, Helen Lieberman and other courageous activists responded to the unjust conditions of South African Apartheid by setting up survival initiatives in the Western Cape. This led to a groundswell of similar initiatives being established in other parts of the country. Over the decades, this work expanded in many different fields, including early childhood development, disability care, foster homes, shelters, elderly care, economic empowerment, food security and youth development. In 1992, the coordination of these initiatives was formalised and Ikamva Labantu, meaning “Future of The People”, was launched as a non-governmental and non-profit organisation.

Today, Ikamva Labantu works throughout Cape Town’s township communities towards a more just society where human rights can be fully actualised. Ikamva’s work focuses on early childhood development, the wellbeing of older persons and afterschool initiatives that keep children safe and off the streets.

FoodForward SA

The impact of COVID-19 will undoubtedly unleash a food security crisis that will be deeply felt in poor communities across South Africa for months to come. The millions of people that rely on a daily / weekly income from the construction industry, the informal economy, small businesses etc. will be severely affected. How and what we eat affects our well-being. Therefore, creating better access to food for the poor is critical in the coming months.

In partnership with our various stakeholders, FoodForward SA is committed to scaling up so that households in vulnerable communities receive proper food provisions. Thank you to all our food and financial donors for your generosity and for caring enough to make a difference.

Our Foodbanking model ensures that the provision of one meal costs only R0,85, making our model the most affordable food security solution, while allowing every R1 to go further.

The Angel Network

Based in Johannesburg, the Angel Network, have continued their efforts in feeding as many people as possible. The charity is still collecting funding and donations in kind to build up weekly food parcels for vulnerable communities.

The Angel Network is collaborating with a few organisations during this time, including being involved with CAN (Community Action Network).

Kindness Like Confetti

Kindness Like Confetti has been helping support families with young children and babies. As part of their food drive, they also supply these families with essential baby items. The charity is based in Johannesburg and welcome donations of all kinds.

They have been collecting food donations from individuals and making up food parcels to share with families in need. The charity recently went shopping thanks to a significant cash donation and was able to make up all the food parcels for this week.

The charity is also cooking warm meals which they hand out to the homeless that are not currently staying in lockdown shelters.

One Small Act of Kindness

One Small Act of Kindness dedicates their efforts to care for the homeless in Randburg, Johannesburg. Together with Doorway to Dignity, they are housing and feeding a group of homeless men. They also feed anyone who comes looking for a meal.

Besides the shelter, One Small Act of Kindness is working throughout the Randburg area to touch as many lives as possible.

Porky’s People

Focusing on Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas, Porky’s People has created this crowdfunding campaign to support as many families as possible with food and other essential items during the lockdown. They are trying to feed 60 families within their community.

Funds raised will be converted into digital food vouchers that can be redeemed at any local Shoprite. If any small businesses would like to support our initiative, donations in the form of food parcels will also greatly be accepted.

You can donate or apply for assistance here.

Seeing so many people take part in these projects has left us in tears! There is nothing greater than Ubuntu and we are seeing it everywhere. These are just a few of the stories we see each day. Who do you know that is trying to feed the nation?

There are many ways to get involved.

If you know of any other charities or organisations helping during this time, please share their details in the comments section.

Sources: Various charities (linked above)
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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