Rondebosch Boys High used their Matric Ball money to feed the hungry!
Cape Town, South Africa (27 June 2020) – The highlight of the week was that Rondebosch Boys High took their Matric Ball money and made up food parcels for our disadvantaged friends in the informal settlement (Die Gatjie) and physically came along to hand them out.
“It was Oliver, who trains at the gym with Howard Davids, and teachers at the school that requested if he can bring one of their students to assist in feeding the hungry on the streets. The student who came was so taken aback that he persuaded the Matric Dance Committee to donate their money to feed the hungry in Die Gatjie.
We asked them to make up food parcels and to hand them out to the mothers. The delight on their faces made their day. Thank you for your support in making the above a success.” – James Odell
Check out some of the photos below:
Hunger wasn’t caused by the spread of COVID-19, but measures to contain the virus have exacerbated a long-term pandemic of inequality and poverty.
Recently, our country’s leaders and medical representatives have publicly debated the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on the malnutrition rates of our most vulnerable populations. Before COVID-19, a significant number of South Africans did not have access to sufficient food and were going hungry on a daily basis. Today, the Human Sciences Research Council1 reports an upward trajectory in hunger experienced by these populations, particularly children because of the lockdown.
Child malnutrition is well documented in South Africa and, unfortunately, is progressively getting worse.
Reflecting this deteriorating situation, stunting rates – an indicator for chronic undernutrition and lack of food – have increased from 21% in 2008 to 27% in 20162 according to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), a report compiled by the National Department of Health (NDoH), Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), and ICF.
“The intensity and visibility of hunger have been catapulted into the spotlight during COVID-19. Long winding queues for food parcels will be a feature of the pandemic that will stay with us for years to come. What is not in the eye of the public, however, are the malnutrition rates that underlie child deaths in South Africa,” says Chantell Witten from the South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents’ and Children’s Health (SACSoWACH).
“While this is heartening to witness, many of the household food packs have, unfortunately, not been tailored for the nutritional needs of children,” says Witten.
Severe acute malnutrition remains a significant underlying cause of child mortality. It is still associated with one-third of all child in-hospital deaths according to the 2018 interim report from the Committee for the Morbidity and Mortality of Children (COMMiC). More worrisome, and possibly a factor under-estimating this figure, is that just under 50% of under-five-year-old deaths occurred outside the health sector.