Food Lover’s Market launched its 7th in-store Hunger Month initiative earlier this month to raise funds to feed hungry South Africans.
Partnering with partner suppliers, Food Lover’s Market Hunger Month aims to create awareness and raise funds for meals for the most vulnerable in our communities annually. Shoppers are encouraged to voluntarily buy a meal for 56 cents at a Food Lover’s Market throughout May, and on World Hunger Day on 28 May 2023, Food Lover’s Market will match all meals shoppers donate.
This year, the retailer started its annual drive with more than 2 million meals already banked through generous contributions from key partners – including legacy partner, Tru-Cape.
Tackling a real crisis
With 30 million food-insecure South Africans, it’s easy to understand that hunger and food insecurity is a very serious issue. “With over 2 million meals already banked, we’re kicking off in a big way this year, and it makes sense as food vulnerability in South Africa is dire,” says Kate Marais, CSI Manager for Food Lover’s Market.
“Over the last six years, the Food Lover’s Market Hunger Month Campaign has raised 6 190 063 meals donated, with 2 515 203 of these meals donated in 2022 alone – but this is not enough, and we can do better.”
“Last year we had some incredible support from our customers, including Steelcrest High School pupils in Middelburg who came together independently to fundraise for the campaign, and the University of Johannesburg sports students who raised 7500 meals. This spirit of Ubuntu has been pivotal to the campaign’s success year-on-year,” says Marais.
Some sobering statistics
According to data from Stats SA for January 2023, food inflation has hit a 14-year high at 13.4%, while a study from the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Physiology determined that 1 in 5 South African households don’t have enough food to eat. 20% of South African households are food insecure, mostly residing in the Eastern Cape. Given these stats, a mere 56 cents could make an impact this May.
Enter Food Lover’s Market Hunger Month and partners
Last year, Food Lover’s Market and its partners changed their approach to collecting meals by making a large upfront contribution – this year, the upfront contribution has more than doubled. With Tru-Cape as the biggest donor, Food Lover’s Market’s in-store Hunger Month campaign is supported by long-standing suppliers in both our fresh and groceries departments.
Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing Managing Director Roelf Pienaar says: “It is tragic that too many children and families face hunger daily in our beautiful country while at the same time, people globally waste one billion tonnes of food each year. According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Food Waste Index Report, a staggering one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted.
The Hunger Month initiative by Food Lover’s Market, one of Tru-Cape’s important and loyal customers, helps address both these issues. For us at Tru-Cape, the fact that two million meals are already banked, and each meal will now cost only 56 cents is an extraordinary achievement.
This is the seventh year that Tru-Cape has partnered with Food Lover’s Market in this life-changing initiative. And we are proud to support an NGO such as Food Forward SA that collects and distributes healthy food to the most needy in a sustainable way, before it is wasted. As a business owned by the growers at Ceres Fruit Growers and Two-a-Day in Grabouw and responsible for about 20% of South Africa’s apple and pear production, we understand first-hand about the need for sustainable agriculture and the food security for which we are responsible.”
Food Forward SA
FoodForward SA, the beneficiary of Hunger Month and Food Lover’s Market’s year-round CSI partner, accepts nutritious surplus food donated by supermarkets and farms. This food is then distributed to the 2,750 beneficiary organisations that feed 985,000 people daily across all nine provinces. These beneficiary organisations include charities and schools to help children and families, the elderly, the homeless, and more.
Andy Du Plessis, MD of FoodForward SA, says, “This year is the seventh consecutive year that FoodForward SA is privileged to be the beneficiary NPO of Food Lover’s Market’s World Hunger Month campaign. What an incredible journey it’s been, joining hands with Food Lover’s Market in the fight against hunger, along with their suppliers and customers, to ensure the success of an annual initiative that enables FoodForward SA to distribute nutritious meals to nearly a million vulnerable people a day, across all nine provinces. We call on all South Africans to support this year’s World Hunger Month campaign at Food Lover’s stores nationwide and help us continue the fight against hunger.”
Says Marais, “The bar has been set very high this year, and we aim to reach and exceed it. If ever there was a time to act, that time is now. Food inflation is biting, unemployment is at an all-time high, and our fellow South Africans cannot feed themselves. Join us in feeding more South Africans – from our table and yours.”
Find out more about Food Lovers Market and Hunger Month here.