Why Is the Programme Necessary?
Despite political advances in South Africa since 1994, the recent global economic crisis, steep food and fuel prices have placed severe pressure on ordinary South Africans to meet their basic needs for food. The General Household Survey found that 60% of children regularly experienced hunger because there was not enough food at home. In some poor communities, this figure is even higher with up to 80% of households reporting moderate and severe food shortages. There are compelling moral, humanitarian and long-term developmental reasons for investing in food assistance programmes. Access to food is a fundamental human requirement that is enshrined both in international and national law. As the first Millennium Development Goal, “Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger” has been endorsed as a global priority. Food security at a national and household level is paramount in order to ensure the health, education and long-term development of our children and youth.
Key activities include:
- Providing freshly prepared nutritious meals 5 days a week to a limited number of families and individuals that are participating in long-term development programmes
- Providing food parcels to a selected number of desperate families who have no access to food on the weekends. Weekend food parcels are also given to child headed households. Parcels consist of basic staple foods (mostly dry ingredients and canned foods).
- Establishment and maintainance of food gardens which produces nutritious vegetables throughout the year. The purpose of the food gardens is two-fold. Harvested vegetables are used to supplement the daily meals prepared in the Centre’s food kitchen. In addition, the food gardens serve as a training site for Afrika Tikkun’s community backyard vegetable gardening programme, which helps families to grow and maintain their own backyard vegetable gardens, contributing to their household food security.
Children and youth in the Afrika Tikkun system are physically and psychologically healthy and food secure within their households and communities.