Christa Barrish is a phenomenal South African who heard about a need in her community & decided to do something to make a difference.
Pretoria, South Africa – When Christa saw the request to assist with school lunches for underprivileged kids, at a popular middle-class school in Centurion, she decided to dig deeper. She found out that it wasn’t just her community but millions of South African children that go to bed at night without having eaten a single meal at all during the day.
“The main cause of South Africa’s challenge is poverty. People are simply too poor to buy food.”
Though a higher proportion of rural households face food insecurity, which range from mild to moderate & severe, more urban households fall within the severe food insecurity category.
“Severe food insecurity means households are forced to cut back on meal sizes & numbers, with people going hungry for days. Our urban population is facing severe malnourishment.”
Christa Barrish decided to jump right in to assist the school, together with four other women from her church.
“A child can’t concentrate and excel on an empty stomach.”
Their main task is the labour of making school lunches every day, the church provides the ladies with a budget of R20 per lunchbox but it’s not hard to guess that these dedicated women add a little something from their own pockets when you look at the contents.
“Many times this is the only meal the child has that day, so it’s got to be balanced & wholesome. It’s important to us to make a difference in our own community. You don’t have to go far to find someone to help.”
The ladies deliver the lunch boxes to the tuck-shop & the school identifies children in need beforehand… this allows the kids-in-need to stay anonymous & interact normally within their social groups.
“We don’t know who the children are & it doesn’t matter either.”
Christa & her ladies also go above & beyond to help the kids & their families, she has even been approached by other schools to do the same there & is planning on expanding her efforts but will need more hands & donations in order to do that.
“Last Christmas we were able to save some money to pack a large box of groceries for each of the families. Each of the women in my team is honestly in it with her whole heart.”