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Corporates and Non-Profits join forces to help feed the homeless

Categories: COMPANY NEWS , Poverty, Residential Care
One of the more interesting and innovative collaborations that took place this Mandela Day was a team of corporates and non-profit organisations...

The organisations who cooked up a feeding scheme for the Cape Town homeless.  Led by Sekisa Foods NPC(not for profit company) , a social enterprise thatproduces organic food products,the volunteers fromOld Mutual, Redwood Third Party Processing, PKF, CCG and Kemkleanmadesoup for hundreds of homeless and needy Mandela Day recipients.

“The target was to cook enough soup to feed 670 people. The final quantity cooked was 265 litres of soup on the day. The soup was distributed by NGODare to Share in the Table View,Milnerton, Rugby and Brooklyn areas,” explains Sekisa Marketing Director, Merille Dreyer.

“Although we are a non-profit company with a goal to provide food security for people, we do not feed people ourselves; rather, we assist NGO's involved in food security in several ways, such as cooking food for their soup kitchens, acting as an intermediary for BBEEE funds, purchasing their products, assisting with ingredients and supporting urban gardens,” adds Merille.
SinceSekisa Foods started operating in 2012,it has been supporting multiple projects and initiatives that deal with challenges of food insecurity, including Masikhanye Food Garden in Khayelitsha, which is fast becoming a sustainable business through the production and saleof healthy vegetables.Sekisa Foods supports Masikhanye by helping them to nurture and develop their garden and by purchasing fresh produce from them. Sekisa Foods NPC also continues to work with NGO Dare to Share on a weekly basis cooking and supplying soup which is distributed to various old age homes, orphanages and destitute families around the Cape Peninsula, from Ysterplaat to Khayelitsha.
South Africa is reported to have over 11 million people who are food insecure, in other words they do not know where their next meal will come from. Although South Africa is regarded as one of a handful of countries in Africa that is capable of producing enough food for its people, food insecurity remains a great concern.
Despite on -going effortsand the implementation ofprojects aimedat hungeralleviation, the truth is that only afew people really benefit from them. With unemployment increasing and people getting retrenched, coupled with the incremental increase of the population, which is exacerbated by people flocking to SA in search of greener pastures, this challenge is only likely to increase. For this reason, Sekisa Foods has positioned itself to create a link between the commercial world of food production and NGOs / Community Organisations that run feeding schemes, community food gardens and food distribution initiatives.
“Sekisa Foods NPC, is also offering companies to send teams into their premises in Montague Gardens to do team building, our “Stone Soup Challenge” uses hunger relief as a way to explore  team dynamics, says Merille
Sekisa sells a range ofproductsto generate income to support its community initiatives. The product range currently has four main varieties, namely chilli chutney, tomato and apple chutney, onion marmalade and citrus marmalade.The products are packaged in 250g glass bottles for the retail sector. The company also packages their products in 100g jars which are placed in handmade wire products such as baskets, serviette holders and bowls, and sold as gift packs to the corporate sector.
All products are handmade traditionally as “grandma” used to, according to Merille; no preservatives or colourants are added, making them naturaland healthy, she adds.
Merille saysshe hopes that their recent soup initiative will encourage other organisations and people to jointhe fight to relieve hunger.” We received tremendous support from various organisations such as the Shoprite group who donated vegetables and bakery products, and 14 corporate companies that sent teams  to , help with the peeling, chopping and cooking the soup, and the Fetola Legends Programme, which has helped us with our marketing. However, the need is great and we always welcome new partnerships,” she says.
Sekisa Foods products are being listed with the Shoprite group and will be available shortly at Checkers at the following branches: Bayside in Table View, Big Bay, Checkers Hyper Sandown, De Grendel and Century City/Canal Walk.
The sale of these products supports their production unit and helps to assist NGO's.
To learn more about Sekisa foods and its products visitwww.sekisa.org or contact Merille on083 327 1379.
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