Red Cross, Shoprite get food to homeless

Red Cross staff Simphiwe Veyo, left, and Michael Newton carry a pot of soup into the Walmer Town Hall to feed homeless people congregated there under Covid-19 lockdown regulations
Red Cross staff Simphiwe Veyo, left, and Michael Newton carry a pot of soup into the Walmer Town Hall to feed homeless people congregated there under Covid-19 lockdown regulations
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

The Eastern Cape branch of the Red Cross, in partnership with Shoprite, is working hard to get food to the most needy during the Covid-19 lock down.

SA Red Cross Society provincial manager Caroline Gallant said on Wednesday she and her team had been targeting various shelters across the Bay.

“In Port Elizabeth we have distributed food parcels to homeless people that are being sheltered in the halls in Walmer, Daku and Njoli in Kwazakhele, and Jarman in Korsten.

“We also visited the Red Cross Centre in Kwazakhele, the NU2 Motherwell Community Centre and the Uitenhage Town Hall.

“We have reached about 500 homeless people at these shelters and we will continue to distribute our remaining food parcels the rest of this week.”

She said the partnership with the supermarket had been highly successful.

“We’ve been working through Shoprite’s Greenacres branch and whatever we ask for they have gone out of their way to supply and they have also sent out their truck to transport the stock.

“Ford SA has also offered us two vehicles to help us move the stock around.”

“Besides the food parcels we also distributed warm soup to the homeless people.

“And we also took buckets and soap to them, and to the Adcock and Stuurman homes for the elderly in the northern areas.”

The recipients were always hugely grateful, she said.

“They tell us they really need what we’re giving them.

“The situation is very bad but fortunately there are various donors, and private sector and government organisations and departments helping, and we’re all working together.”

The Red Cross food distribution team numbers had been swollen by volunteers and all members had been trained in coronavirus prevention measures for front-line workers, she said.

Next week, they are going to change their focus to the rural areas with the distribution of 35 metric tons of maize meal donated by Pioneer Foods in Aliwal North.

The mealie meal was contained in 12.5kg bags, she said.

“The aim is to get it out to the impoverished rural communities around East London, Mthatha, Makhanda and Nelson Mandela Bay, and then to go door-to-door with these bags and in this way help over 2,500 households.

“Around the Bay we will be going to places like Longmore, Thornhill and Kruisfontein.”

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