GEORGE NEWS - The municipal soup kitchen programme has been extended to more than triple its usual capacity, helping more than 7 000 people in the communities where they live with two meals a day, seven days a week.
Currently 130 soup kitchens are serving the communities - at least one in every vulnerable neighbourhood - and should be at full capacity of up to 140 later this week. According to municipal media liaison officer Athane Scholtz, several of the municipality's usual soup kitchens in private homes have reopened.
"Initially some kitchens were closed where the home owners' health might have been a concern or might have been potentially vulnerable, but in most cases other healthy and less vulnerable people have come in to serve in their place," said Scholtz.
Where to go
George Herald has received online enquiries about the whereabouts of the soup kitchens from employers who wanted to point their staff members in the right direction to receive a daily meal.
Scholtz said local residents usually know where their soup kitchens are. "Even if someone else makes the food, the places stay the same - or someone in their community will be able to inform them.
"If no one can give them the address of their nearest soup kitchen, they can call 044 802 2000 during office hours for the information.
"Unfortunately we cannot publish addresses of soup kitchens because they are in private homes."
The drive-through donation centre at the Civic Centre and the municipality will in weeks to come heavily depend on support from all sources. Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the municipality is acutely aware of the far-reaching implications of the lockdown and anticipates the impact on communities to extend beyond the lockdown period and current available funds.
"With this in mind, we are managing stocks for the soup kitchens and homeless shelter [at the Rosemoor Stadium] with a long-term approach to maximise the benefit to our communities as whole," he said.
Botha appealed to everyone to put personal and political agendas aside, to share resources and fight the impact of this virus as a united city. He thanked everyone who has selflessly given time, food and other resources and asked that they continue to do so for as long as possible. "Our people are our solution," he said.
The municipality welcomes donations of food, hygiene and sanitary products, clothes, blankets and other supplies at its drive-through donation centre at the Civic Centre. The stop-and-drop centre is open from 08:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and 08:00 to 17:00 on weekends and public holidays.
People using online grocery delivery services who want to donate, can make up an online basket and enter the delivery address as Drive-through Centre City Hall, 71 York Street, George.
Persons requiring food parcel assistance must please continue to register on the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) through one of the following channels:
• Phone 0800 220 250 (DSD general queries) and 0860 142 142 (donation requests and offers)
• Send a Please Call Me to 079 769 1207
• E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Phone the George office of the Department of Social Development on 044 814 1920 during office hours.
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