In an ongoing effort to address the growing crisis of food insecurity in South Africa, food redistribution organisation, FoodForward SA, has successfully launched its 28th Mobile Rural Depot (MRD) in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.
The MRD allows for vetted beneficiary organisations within and around the rural precinct to easily access and collect quality surplus food monthly. The Witbank Society for the Aged, Inkosinami, Mpumalanga Mental Health Society and the Mpumalanga Youth Council are the first four beneficiary organisations that will benefit from FoodForward SA’s Emalahleni MRD.
According to FoodForward SA managing director, Andy du Plessis, the beneficiary organisations previously had to travel for one and a half hours to collect food provisions from the organisation’s Johannesburg branch in Isando.
Apart from the newest MRD in Emalahleni, FoodForward SA’s MRD programme in Mpumalanga also operates in White River and Goba, a town close to the Mozambican border.
In addition to the MRD, which aims to ensure greater access to food for vulnerable rural communities, FoodForward SA has a food-banking model that provides nutritious food each month to 1,850 beneficiary organisations that collectively reach more than 700,000 vulnerable people daily.
“It is globally acknowledged that food-banking is mostly an urban solution to addressing hunger, given where the role players within the food supply chain are concentrated. This results in inequitable access to food for those living in rural communities,” du Plessis says.