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Hunger is not just about food. Hunger and poverty are inextricably linked to a range of issues including healthcare, decent work opportunities, education, social justice, women's' rights, the environment and global climate change.
COVID-19 is wreaking havoc all over the world. The global pandemic has seen people rush to shops to stockpile, employ rigorous hand-washing techniques, retreat indoors and distance themselves from other people in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
But what happens to those who can’t stockpile, who don’t have water readily available, who can’t social distance and who can’t stay at home? This is a very real problem in South Africa, where poverty and unemployment are rife.
Charitable organisations are asking for food donations, but so often the request merely states “non-perishable” and we’re left wondering, just what exactly are they in need of or how can I provide the most value with my donation?
Legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans and butter beans are a versatile food product that can make soups, stews and even salads while providing a high protein meal. Dry bulk packaging is often cheapest, but tinned versions minimise cooking requirements as they are ready to eat, making them a great donation item for people who might lack cooking facilities, power or fuel.
Preparing a healthy breakfast for many people can often be a challenge. Oatmeal is an affordable yet nutritious, filling meal that can be adapted with raisins, nuts, cinnamon or fruit to make a great meal, especially for children.
A meal is essential, but sometimes a hot beverage can do just as much to feed the soul. Often, volunteer staff don’t have tea or coffee to enjoy during their shifts, so this may help them help more fellow South Africans.
Not just for tea time, can help make a nutritious breakfast for youngsters and adults who may struggle with solid foods.
An essential ingredient that is often needed, and not very often donated.
Long-lasting fruit can make a bright and welcome dessert option, or added to oatmeal for healthy breakfast. Raisins, apricots and prunes can provide nutrients and energy and make great additions to a range of meals.
Peanut butter is high in proteins and fats, and relatively affordable, making it a great food choice for the hungry.
Sweetcorn, peas and carrots add colour, and tinned legumes such as beans and lentils add texture and important vitamins and nutrients to any meal, and the tinned versions are long-lasting with little chance of spoiling if refrigeration is not available.
An essential in both savoury and sweet dishes, a touch of salt can make an easy bean soup so simple rice or potato dish delicious.
It's all about flavour! A simple bean, chickpea or lentil stew can taste amazing with the addition of some soup powder or vegetable stock cubes.
Glass can easily be damaged in transit. For example, choose spread packaged in a plastic container rather than a glass jar.
Chocolates, cooldrinks and chips are tasty and comforting but offer very little nutritious value. In fact, they can do more harm than good.
These often rely on fresh, and comparatively expensive ingredients to show them into a meal, like mincemeat, milk, eggs or butter, so if not all ingredients are available, they become unusable.
During this time of national lockdown, giving to your local charity or within your local community (through neighbourhood churches, mosques, school programs, shelters or local grocery store) can bring a whole host of benefits to you and the people around you. If you want to help but don’t know where to go in your local community, you can also donate to a food-based charity. There are many around but we've listed some reputable options listed a few below: