SA Harvest launched on October 19 and has hit a milestone of delivering over 5 million meals in its 18 months of existence. Over 1,500 tonnes of nutritious food has been rescued and delivered to food vulnerable communities in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, the Free State, and Mpumalanga, at an average rate of around 277 000 meals per month.
Today, it supports more than 80 grassroots community-based organisations around the country and Alan Browde, founder and CEO of SA Harvest, says that five million meals are just the beginning. “This milestone is only one aspect of a holistic view of ending hunger in South Africa. Although feeding the hungry is a vital response to the current crisis – 19 million people going to sleep hungry every night – we accept that charity, in itself, cannot end hunger. To accomplish this, we need to work collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders to change the systemic root causes of hunger. In light of this, SA Harvest has a three-pillar strategy: Food Rescue and Systemic Intervention underpinned by a bespoke digital platform to ensure, firstly, transparency, safety, and efficiency within our own organisation and, secondly, transparency, efficiency, and effective collaboration within the food space generally.”
A surplus of good food is wasted at the farming, manufacturing, wholesaler, retailer, and consumer household levels – a total of 10 million tonnes annually in South Africa, which translates into three nutritious meals per day for more than a year for all food-vulnerable people in SA. SA Harvest collects this surplus from food donors before it spoils or ends up in a landfill, using a fleet of refrigerated trucks and an innovative technology platform, which helps in finding the appropriate logistics solutions where necessary, managing the warehouse operation professionally, and tracking and tracing food donations. This rescued food is packaged into nutritious food bundles and delivered to vetted beneficiaries where it is used to create meals for vulnerable communities.
Airline entrepreneur and chairman of SA Harvest, Gidon Novick, adds, “It’s quite astounding what the SA Harvest team has accomplished in such a short time. Of course, there is still much to do to accomplish the lofty goal of ending hunger in our country. I totally support the idea that to be successful requires a holistic approach and, with the number of excellent projects being implemented by the team, I’m happy that our benefactors can rest assured that they are making a significant contribution to a more just, productive, safe and happier South Africa.”