21 December 2021 Media Release: SA Harvest reflects on a successful year

Media Release: SA Harvest reflects on a successful year

21 December 2021

For Immediate Release

For the past year, SA Harvest, previously known as the Garden Route Food Pantry, effectively adhered to their primary mandate by sourcing food from various local suppliers, manufacturers and farmers and becoming a centralised point in coordinating food security needs in the district.  Alleviating hunger and promoting food safety and security in the district remained their top priority.

SA Harvest partnership with the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) as the strategic enabler with an oversight responsibility and Local Municipalities in the district, worked hand-in-hand to ensure that food safety and security received the much-needed attention it deserved the past year.  Considering the impact, the Covid-19 pandemic has had on unemployment and poverty, including the recent disastrous floods the district has experienced, SA Harvest facilitated the humanitarian relief of food to local areas in George and surrounding towns.

A recent wrap-up report on the funding received and services delivered the past year, SA Harvest proudly proclaim that they have had a positive impact regarding food safety and security in the district, thanks to the financial support of the Garden Route District Municipality.

According to Mr Carl van Blerk, Operations Manager of SA Harvest Garden Route, “We’ve received an amount of R603 908 in payments from GRDM, which made it possible for us to cover a significant portion of the operational expenses, allowing us to mainly focus on food security,” he said.

Mr Van Blerk furthermore elaborated that the number of meals distributed to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region to date equates to 1250 143.  These were a combination of fresh products, non-perishables, emergency disaster relief, and fortified products to combat malnutrition.

The meals per Municipality were as follows:

Kannaland               –           46 511 Meals

Hessequa                 –           65 275 Meals

George                      –           676 827 Meals

Mossel Bay              –           85 220 Meals

Oudtshoorn            –           154 030 Meals

Knysna                    –           105 235 Meals

Bitou                        –           117 045 Meals

The above-mentioned meals were distributed through a network of 203 beneficiaries, ranging from small informal soup kitchens and feeding centres to larger registered facilities.

In conclusion, Mr van Blerk explained that the new facility, operating as SA Harvest, will be operating slightly differently in that they will only be including registered NPO/NPC centres for food donations.  “However, we will embark on partnering the small unregistered sites with a registered NPO so that they can still benefit, and will also assist them to get officially registered.  At this stage we are holding back on registering new sites, until this process is completed, and will then open the system again for new facilities as soon as possible,” Van Blerk said.