The Covid-19 crisis will also be a hunger crisis. The PHA Food & Farming Campaign are deeply concerned about the impact the lockdown will have on their farmland communities.
The PHA Food & Farming Campaign is initiating a drive to support 1550 vulnerable families in the Philippi Horticultural Area with food baskets during the Covid-19 lockdown. These families are farm workers, labour tenants or live in one of the 10 informal settlements of the PHA.
We aim to support these families via the PHA Family Food basket drive, at R500 per basket. People can also donate R250 for half a basket. One food basket will feed a family of four for one week.
After extensive consultation, the PHA Food & Farming Campaign, who have been active in the Philippi area for 12 years, estimated that approximately 1550 families will go hungry during the Covid-19 lockdown. Spaza shops have closed, piecemeal work opportunities are scarce, school feeding systems have closed and the food distribution systems in the informal settlements have been decimated by the lockdown regulations. Unemployment, already a problem in informal settlements, is more entrenched.
Farm labour tenants, although exempt from lockdown, are facing a grim struggle as the numbers of people they support on low wages has now grown. One worker supports four other people including her/himself. The PHA informal settlement and labour tenant communities has a 50% unemployment rate and in one informal settlement alone, 900 children are no longer benefiting from the school feeding schemes. Most of the PHA communities depend on temporary work, such as domestic or construction work, and they will be without money. People who depend on farm workers will be most affected.
Farm workers are the same people who are ensuring that despite this virus, everyone in the Western Cape will be able to continue to put food on the table in the future. This is an essential service. Let us support them!
The PHA Food & Farming Campaign are in a unique position to provide this service to these families because they are part of the local community. They know the situation of the households, local leadership and organising structures. All donations will go towards buying the food. The PHA Campaign is a Public Benefit Organisation and they are able to issue an 18A exemption receipt on request.
For more information please contact Susanna Coleman via email or at 082 811 0427,