Gauteng sets up food banks

Monday, April 23, 2012

Johannesburg - The Social Development Department in Gauteng has established food banks to help feed communities in need.

"In an effort to assist those who are not fortunate in life, the Gauteng Social Development Department has established food banks for deserving granny- and child-headed households.

"We are rolling-out an integrated pro-poor database with local government structures, which enables us to provide a full basket of services to poor communities, including social relief of distress," said Gauteng MEC for Agriculture and Social Development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, on Monday.

A food bank is a non-profit, charitable organisation that distributes mostly donated food to a wide variety of agencies that in turn feed poor people. The largest sources of food are for-profit growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers, who in the normal course of business have excess food that they cannot sell.

Mayathula-Khoza said more emphasis would be put on the Zero Hunger approach, which seeks to enhance the role of the department's Integrated Food Security Plan.

The food banks will be established in all the Gauteng districts, which are City of Johannesburg, West Rand, Ekurhuleni, City of Tshwane and Sedibeng.

Meanwhile, the MEC said her department was intensifying its fight against the "shocking" levels of drug and alcohol abuse by young people in the province.

"Our key interventions seek to create mechanisms for the combating of substance abuse through prevention, early intervention, treatment and integration programmes. Furthermore, our education and awareness creation campaigns make citizens aware of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse and its link to HIV and Aids.

"Our substance abuse programme is intimately linked to probation services focusing on the preservation of the family structure," she said.

Mayathula-Khoza said they were also putting a greater emphasis on diverting children away from the child and youth care system as well as the criminal justice system.