Pack away the hunger

WITH just more than 20% of Buffalo City living below the food poverty line, Hemingways Mall has partnered with Stop Hunger Now SA to open the organisation’s first shopfront office countrywide.

Since early last month, the shopping centre has been home to the Eastern Cape headquarters of the non-profit organisation, which coordinates corporate sponsors and individual volunteers to purchase and pack nutritious meals for the needy.

FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE: About a thousand volunteers packed more than 300000 meals during last year’s Stop Hunger Now SA event at Hemingways Mall Picture: SHANNON BRIGHT

Last year, more than 1000 East Londoners came together to pack 305250 meals as part of the mall’s inaugural Mandela Day event. The packs include rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin supplement and were distributed to beneficiaries via local feeding programmes.

This month, the mall will kick off the 2017 “Rise 4 Good” campaign with its first packing event on Saturday, followed by the main Mandela Day event a week later, where Miss World contestants, as well as the organisation’s Eastern Cape patron, Mandla Mandela, will be among the special guests.

Hemingways general manager Reinette van Tonder said, as one of the high-profile businesses in the city, it was critical that the mall play a visible and sustainable role in improving lives in the surrounding community.

She appealed to residents, businesses and charities to help surpass last year’s benchmark.

“Companies sponsor the costs of a ‘production line’ and their employees, or any other individuals, can volunteer to spend their 67 minutes for Mandela Day by helping to pack meals during one of four sessions throughout the day,” Van Tonder said.

She said the partnership between mall owner Rebosis Property Fund and Stop Hunger Now SA would facilitate a more sustained approach to community development and enable more packing events to take place.

Stop Hunger Now SA chief executive officer Saira Khan described the relationship with Hemingways Mall as “enthusiastic and supportive” and said the opening of its newest branch – in addition to its Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg offices – was a natural progression.

To participate in Rise 4 Good, contact Nadia Reddy on (011)872-2498 or events@stophungernowsa.org.

For more information, find Hemingways Mall on Facebook.

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