More than 1 000 residents are set to benefit from new social relief partnerships initiated by Kouga Municipality.
“The municipality has taken hands with six soup kitchens, most of which were established during the COVID-19 lockdown to help address the escalating shortage of food in homes,” Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said.
“Despite COVID-19 restrictions having been eased, many families are still struggling to recover from the impact the lockdown has had on the economy and jobs.”
He said that while social relief was the mandate of the Department of Social Development, the lockdown had made it clear that the Department could not cope with the demand.
“As a caring government, the municipality has resolved to continue supporting social relief efforts despite this falling outside our mandate,” he said.
“Our support to soup kitchens is a continuation of our recent social relief efforts, which saw the municipality partnering with community groups to procure and deliver almost 15 000 food parcels to families in need.”
He said the municipality would mainly be assisting the soup kitchens with equipment and groceries.
“We would also like to connect them with potential donors so that they can sustain their programmes. This is critical as the municipality will not be able to support them indefinitely,” he explained.
Large gas burners, gas bottles, pots and a month’s worth of food supplies were delivered to four of the soup kitchens on Friday.
At the hand-over were the Masakhane Givers from Loerie and three projects from Humansdorp, namely, Feeding Hands, Kouga Social and Rural Development and the Humansdorp Community Feeding Action Group.
“These four groups provide a meal to almost 1000 residents, young and old, at least three times a week. They are doing an incredible job and we are honoured to be able to support their efforts,” Hendricks said.
Jacques Alexander, from the Humansdorp Community Feeding Action Group, said the donation meant a great deal to the beneficiaries.
“The need in our communities is great and the municipality’s support will help us to continue bringing relief to those who struggle to put food on their tables,” he said.
Hendricks said the donations for the remaining two soup kitchen, from Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, were also being finalised for delivery.
Jacques Alexander, from the Humansdorp Community Feeding Action Group, thanks Kouga for the support:
Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, at the hand-over of the donation: