How One Tweet Brought SeaHarvest and McCain Together to Feed 2,000 Kids
Photo Cred: Pexels

Never ever underestimate the power of one good thought, one good deed… or one good tweet!

 

Western Cape, South Africa (09 February 2021) – Sea Harvest and McCain joined forces to feed 2,000 children after joining a Twitter conversation… proving that social media isn’t always bad, and we can really make a difference together!

While the world faces the tragic COVID-19 pandemic, another harrowing outbreak is impacting South Africa, and it was one that is growing by the day; poverty and hunger.

It’s been 320 days since South Africa went into lockdown and for many, that is 320 days of not earning a salary… and 320 days of not being helped by the government. This is the tragic reality that many are facing right now. Hunger and unemployment are soaring, and our beautiful country is facing a national crisis that we may never recover from; extreme poverty that we have never seen before.

Our unemployment rate was shocking before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, but that number has almost doubled since the 26 March 2020. It has been estimated that there are over 10 million citizens who are actively looking for a job but can’t find one right now. South Africa has also just been ranked as the world’s most miserable economy after Venezuela and Argentina.

But was Fred Rogers who said in times of tragedy, always look for the helpers. And this idea has become so much more in the last year; we have featured many stories of ordinary South Africans doing the most extraordinary things to help each other.

How One Tweet Brought SeaHarvest and McCain Together to Feed 2,000 Kids
Children sit waiting to be fed on what is known as “the battlefield”, where rival gangs often clash in Lavender Hill. Gang violence in the area has subsided since a ceasefire was brokered following the shooting of five-year-old Valentino Grootetjie in December last year. Photo Cred: Brenton Geach

Marc Nicholson is one of those incredible people, who has spent the last 320 days making sure that 2,000 children in Lavender Hills have at least one meal a day.

“The feeding of hundreds of children has occurred daily since the start of the national lockdown. Normally, the children would receive food at school. In an area with an employment rate of only about 40%, many parents are unable to afford food at the best of times, and under the extended lockdown, many households are becoming desperate. Households such as those of Kathleen Laurence, who has an 11-year-old and 20-year-old daughter living with her. Laurence says the only income is a child grant of R440 a month.” – Steve Kretzmaan explained in an article on GroundUp.

It was this conversation and article that sparked Lester Kiewit – a highly revered South African journalist and host of the midday report on CapeTalk – to get involved in a Twitter conversation and invite Sea Harvest to help Nicholson and the kids of Lavender Hill.

And it all started as a joke… Simon Orgill was promoting an engagement at “Snoekies” when Sea Harvest – who had only just started their Twitter page – replied! But it was Kiewit’s suggestion to help feed the kids that really changed the game.

Jared Patel, Head of Marketing at Sea Harvest, explained that they immediately decided to get involved after Kiewit tweeted them.

“How could we not help Marc Nicholson and the kids of Lavender Hill? Lester (Kiewit) wanted us to show that our love for South Africa is real and that we are truly hooked on helping.”

But it didn’t stop there! Sea Harvest had recently started a campaign with McCain and decided to rope them into doing some good.

“We got on the phone and told the McCain team about the plan to feed the kids. The didn’t even blink an eye before agreeing. Within a couple of minutes, the plan had started taking shape… and within a couple of days, we had delivered the fish and chips to the kids,” Jared Patel concluded.

The CapeTalk journalist kept all his followers up to date with how it started, and how it ended.

Kiewit does not have an official connection with the kids of Lavender Hill, but he has interviewed Nicholson a few times around the feeding schemes and likes to promote the good work the Lavender Hills Sports and Recreation Foundation organiser does.

“A big thank you and much appreciation to Sea Harvest and McCain who have become “Friends In Your Freezer” for the approximate 2,000 kids they helped feed in Lavender Hill. McCain, thank you veggy veggy much. Sea Harvest, you got us hook, line, and sinker. Till nets time!” – Lester Kiewit tweeted.

It may have been just one meal, but to those 2,000 children, it was a really special day. And it was all made possible because of one person, and one simple tweet Marc Nicholson explained in a phone interview with Good Things Guy.

“I am so grateful. So very, very grateful. The kids normally just have soup, so for them to have a nice meal with good food makes a world of difference. To see the look on the kids’ faces was unbelievable. You could see the excitement in their eyes and how thankful they were. There were even tears.

I usually go to social media to ask for donations. It’s really hard as people don’t have much, but I want to thank Lester, Sea Harvest and McCain for making these kids’ day. It is proof that we can all make a difference.”

What an incredible story and a reminder that we must never ever underestimate the power of one good thought, one good deed… or one good tweet!


Sources: Good Things Guy Interview | Lester Kiewit | Jared Patel | Marc Nicholson 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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