On Monday, 23 March 2020, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Government would enforce a 21-day nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020 until Thursday,16 April 2020 in a bid to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and avoid a human catastrophe.

While essential food and emergency services will remain in operation at this time, lack of public transport and the impact on the local economy due to business closures will make it more difficult for the vulnerable members of our community to access food items at this time. This situation is exacerbated by the nationwide panic-buying that has ensued ahead of the lockdown, despite the President’s requests to refrain from such purchasing behavior.

Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, Cape Town is taking measures to offer relief to the vulnerable in addition to its existing Growing for Good initiatives. Expressing a sense of solidarity and sensitivity to its context and community are important drivers for Spier, one of the country’s oldest wine farms.

Says Spier CEO Andrew Milne: “We recognise that there are many vulnerable families in our immediate community who will struggle to access food items.”

In order to address this, Spier partnered with the Sustainability Institute and the Spier-based Living Soils Community Farm in order to compile and distribute food packs that will provide nourishment to 450 families during the lockdown period. With an average of five members per family, approximately 2 500 people will receive help. The relief food boxes were distributed on Thursday, 26 March 2020 ahead of the nationwide lockdown scheduled for midnight on the same day.

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