Mandela Day at Hemingways
“MORE people die from malnutrition than HIV/Aids,” said Chief Mandla Mandela at the Rise Against Hunger Mandela Day event on Saturday at Hemingways Mall.
Hundreds of East Londoners packed 97000 meals that will feed 370 children with five meals a day all year round.
The non-perishable meal packs from Rise Against Hunger, formerly Stop Hunger Now, are very nutritious and includes rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin supplement and were distributed to beneficiaries via various local feeding programmes.
Mandla said as family and through the Nelson Mandela Foundation, they had approached government to adopt July 18 as Mandela Day and not only did they do that, but they took the matter to the United Nations and it was adopted as Nelson Mandela International Day.
“The good thing about today is that people are actually doing the work instead of maybe donating money and buying tables,” Mandla said.
“Signing a cheque and saying you have done your bit makes the whole day lose its morality because it’s not about rural people and underprivileged people being a charity case. We are not a charity case. We want to see the care in you,” said Mandla, who lives in the Transkei which is still mostly rural.
With just more than 20% of Buffalo City living below the food poverty line, Hemingways Mall has partnered with Rise Against Hunger and opened in East London the organisation’s first shop- front 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.
Last year, more than 1000 East Londoners came together to pack 305250 meals as part of the mall’s inaugural Mandela Day event.
Mandla said that the new branch in Hemingways Mall would not only cater for East London and Buffalo City, but the whole of the Eastern Cape.
National operations manager Brian Nell said they were always overwhelmed by the support they received from the public.