Sea Vista Food Relief Project paused to reassess needs 

After almost 14 weeks and 6500 food parcel deliveries, the DVG, St Francis United Church and Rotary Club St Francis food relief project has now been paused so that we may reassess the community needs. This comes after the majority of industries opened up for work under Level 3 which started on 1 June 2020.

From the start, our efforts were focused to assist those households which were affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Whether you were a South African national or not, whether you received Sassa grants or not, we helped if you (and your household) were a victim of an employer who could no longer pay you.

After the president’s announcement this week of an advanced level 3 which will now also see hairdressers, health & beauty therapists, sit-down restaurants and accommodation sections start up, it becomes quite difficult to establish who in our local area is still unemployed or have been retrenched as a result of the pandemic. Some employees are also currently benefiting from UIF TERS funding.

And so the time has come to pause, and encourage our community to enable themselves again. We will take a few weeks to assess those who are still seriously affected. With our volunteers on the ground in the community, we believe that those still in crises due to the pandemic will surface and this will enable us to draw up a new, much reduced database.

The hardest part about such a fantastic community project, is stopping. We experienced this on Wednesday this week when we distributed our last parcels (for now). There were many in line who were receiving UIF, who’s employers had confirmed to us that they were receiving pay and some chokka fishermen who were on the normal, annual off-season. We also witnessed domestic workers who normally work one or two days per week and were back to working those days. Suffice to say that our first (mild) conflict occurred this week, caused by some unhappy community members who felt entitled to a parcel, despite being either back to work or in receipt of UIF. Everyone was reminded that the Sea Vista Food Relief Project was not a government organised initiative, and that they should be grateful that they could work again, and had received food relief during the weeks of the lockdown.

Much as we wish that such a project could continue forever, we are reminded that it came about as a temporary relief measure during a pandemic under the national disaster act. We are keeping a close eye on our community to identify those households who are really still in dire need and will assist them on a one on one basis. If you are aware of such a situation, please send the name, surname and address, as well as a description of the circumstances to disastervolunteergroup@gmail.com.

TO OUR DONORS

WoW!!!!!! On behalf of the local community, we thank you for without your unselfish and giving nature, none of this would have been possible. We will issue a financial report to show the total donations received and expenses to date, highlighting the balance remaining which we would like to apply to food parcel and / or disaster relief as only time will tell. It’s important to remember that we are now seeing positive cases multiply and we may find ourselves back in Level 4 or even 5, so keeping funds in the kitty for future responsible use is paramount. It is with confidence that we confirm that between the DVG, Church and Rotary, all funds are collectively and responsibly managed. More reports will follow.

And finally to our volunteers, your giving nature is astounding! Thank you for your unselfish time! We know we can call on you again not if, but when the time comes.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us.