NATIONAL NEWS - It is estimated that over 14 million people go to bed hungry in South Africa and almost 800 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat, Berea Mail reports.
Ninety-eight per cent of these lives in developing countries.
As part of raising awareness on the reality of hunger and poverty in South Africa, Meals on Wheels KwaZulu-Natal prepared over 1000 meals which were served in communities around Durban on Tuesday, 28 May, World Hunger Day.
Area Director of the organisation, Zandile Nhlengetwa, said the organisation wanted every sector of the community to be it business, institution or ordinary citizen to be conscious of the fact that there was a person close them who went to bed without food, and a child dying of malnutrition.
“We prepare over 6000 meals across the 39 kitchens we have in KZN and the Free State daily.”
“Food security in South Africa is quite a complex issue because it sits in the midst of other social problems that need to be addressed in the country. Poverty and unemployment are two leading factors both complex to unpack, understand and to address,” said Nhlengetwa.
According to a South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 28 per cent of households in urban areas were at risk of hunger and 26 per cent were already experiencing hunger.
In rural communities, 32 per cent are at risk of hunger and 36 per cent are already experiencing hunger.
Roughly, it says, about 50 per cent of the South African population is food insecure or at risk of food insecure.
“These stats tell us people are hungry out there or at risk of going for days without food so they can survive. One branch manager shared with me that, in one ante-natal clinic where they serve meals to pregnant women, the senior nurse said daily 35 per cent of pregnant mothers who come for antenatal care check-ups have shared that they have had no food for days. Our mission on World Hunger Day is to partner with a number of organisations and prepare 1000 meals and serve these meals in one of the impoverished communities,” added Nhlengetwa.