Pick n Pay’s Feed the Nation campaign will match all customer cash donations made at till points on Mandela Day, 18 July 2020, to help feed more people left vulnerable to hunger. The retailer is encouraging a donation of R21 – enough to help feed one person a meal every day for a week – but any amount is welcome.
Under lockdown Pick n Pay is unable to host its annual Mandela Day Food Drive that launched in 2017 to help feed the millions of people that go to bed hungry every day. Every year, the national food drive encouraged customers to donate food or cash at till points, and thousands of volunteers spent their 67-minutes at packaging events across the country to sort the items info food parcels. Collectively, 391 tonnes of food – enough to create 1.6 million meals – were generated from these three annual events.
Pick n Pay is encouraging all customers to donate whatever change they have available at till points this Saturday on Mandela Day, and they will match it, up to a total contribution of R500,000. Customers can also donate their Smart Shopper points via the kiosk or PnP app.
The money donated at till points by customers will be matched and donated to Feed the Nation’s beneficiaries – Joint Aid Management (JAM), SA Harvest and Afrika Tikkun – who, along with many others, are working tirelessly to provide support to communities in need.
A recent report by Oxfam, the Hunger Virus, shows that South Africa is emerging as a new hunger hotspot as the Covid-19 pandemic has added fuel to the fire of an already growing hunger crisis. It reports that before the pandemic, 13.7 million people did not have access to enough food in the country.
As the country continues to grapple with the pandemic, Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, director of transformation at Pick n Pay, says that even more communities and families are becoming vulnerable as many have been left without jobs or food on the table.
“We are especially seeing many child-headed households struggling at the moment as they are having to deal with the pressure to complete their schooling, while also having to support their families who are without food. During this crisis, the need to unite and honour Madiba’s legacy of giving is greater than ever before.”
Ackerman-Berman explains that Pick n Pay launched its Feed the Nation campaign in April as a way to support those who don’t have a support system to fall back on. “Donations – no matter how small – by customers have all contributed to providing relief to those left vulnerable during lockdown.”
Pick n Pay is also encouraging companies to partner with Feed the Nation this Mandela Day. “We are able to work with our partners and benefactors to identify individuals or communities in need and help provide much needed support. Absa has already stepped up to the plate for Mandela Day by donating R500,000.”
By partnering with customers and organisations, Feed the Nation has helped create over 16 million meals to date. Pick n Pay’s initial contribution of over R5m has been exceeded by donations from customers at till points and in collection trolleys, private benefactors and charities to bring the total amount raised to over R29m.
Feed the Nation has also been a driver in helping facilitate digital grocery vouchers to the value of nearly R34m on behalf of municipalities and organisations. This collective effort has helped feed schoolchildren, shelters, orphanages and vulnerable communities during this crisis.