The Western Cape Provincial Treasury on Saturday approved the allocation of R53 million additional funding for emergency food relief programmes which will run across the Western Cape.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said: "We know that the lockdown is tough on everyone and is impacting on the livelihoods of many families across the Western Cape. That is why we are working hard to ensure that no one goes hungry during this difficult time and that we are all able to play our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We have, therefore, taken a number of emergency steps to ensure our residents get the nutrition they need."
The allocation of funds for the emergency food provision plan includes:
- R20 million to distribute 50 000 food parcels, each of which will support a family of four for one month. The Department of Social Development will allocate these funds to selected NGOs to prepare and distribute the food parcels.
- R5 million to the Department of Social Development for delivery of an additional 10 000 cooked meals per day for one month.
- R18 million to the Department of Education to initiate a special school feeding programme from 8 April until 20 April, which will target the 485 000 existing school feeding scheme beneficiaries with one takeaway meal a day at approximately 1 000 schools.
- R10 million to increase the number of beneficiaries receiving food at existing Department of Social Development feeding schemes to 6 520 people.
The Department of Social Development has also reactivated the Early Childhood Development (ECD) feeding schemes at the majority of the 1 100 ECDs funded by the department. This will feed up to 80 000 children a day once fully up and running.
"This is a welcome boost that will widen our existing nutritional safety net to provide hundreds of thousands more people who need it most with cooked meals and food parcels," Winde said.
MEC for Social Development Sharna Fernandez said: "Only a whole-of-society approach through the efforts of all spheres of society can help curb the pressure we experience on our available services. In this regard, our NGO partners are critical to helping us deliver this feeding programme during this difficult time, and the existing network in place will ensure that we can get food to those who need it most, as quickly as possible."
MEC for Education Debbie SchÃ¤fer added: "We look forward to working with schools and service providers to supply meals to as many of our schoolchildren as possible, who normally qualify for the national school feeding programme. This is a time when we need to stand together as a province and as a country in protecting those among us who need extra help.
"The National School Nutrition Programme feeds approximately 483 000 of our poorer learners. We need to get to as many learners as possible during this very difficult time."
More information about these feeding programmes will be provided by Fernandez and SchÃ¤fer this week, Winde said.
"All necessary measures will be taken to ensure the safety and health of those involved in the implementation of the food relief programmes, including [physical] distancing."
- Compiled by Riaan Grobler