SHARING OF THE HARVEST
Food has always been an underrated resource in terms of a country’s economic value. Often mineral or oil deposits that can put “direct currency” into an economy are treated as the determining factors of a land’s worth. National wealth is rarely defined by soil fertility, and its ability to produce nutritious sustenance for its people – even in the case of farming regions, growers are enticed into exporting tons of monocropped produce by the prospects of higher profits; in turn, pushing their prices up much higher than what the local market can afford. So in order to make a living, many large scale farmers opt for this if they can, meaning the basic needs of the majority of the people are often overlooked.
A basic need for a human to survive is a consistent amount of nutritious meals – biologically speaking, one of the components needed for a healthy, functioning body, is about 1600-2000 calories per day for an average woman; and 2000-2500 calories per day for an average man. To put this in context, a standard banana has around 100 calories. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t even come close to these requirements on a daily basis. And now, in the time of a pandemic – it is more important than ever to have nutrient-rich meals, as opposed to those which are notably nutrient-low such as fast foods, processed foods, GMOs, etc. Fresh, chemical-free nutritious foods improve the immune system and keep the body functioning at optimal health.
As we are all aware, many people have lost their income sources to lockdowns and economic difficulties; and thus cannot afford to buy food – let alone the right kinds. This was an issue even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but has now intensified even more. In the face of this, there are, however, lots of those who are trying to help. Out of pure necessity, and partly due to the government’s inability to provide for such needs, many new soup kitchens are popping up; feeding schemes are growing; and people are donating more to the needy.
One of our core goals has always been to help feed as many people as we can – both directly through providing them with food, and more importantly through educating or training anyone who is interested in growing their own food. However, our crops have their limitations; so we have decided to team up with Merle and Hisstar on behalf of their community; Goedverwacht; who supply bulk organic fresh produce which we can channel to those new and small organisations that are feeding the hungry, and are desperately in need of supply. This is where we need your help; and so have decided to start a new initiative.
We have launched our “Donation Bag” option. This Bag will contain organic staple vegetables like Sweet Potatoes, Butternuts, Onions, Carrots etc, and possibly fruits – whatever is seasonally available. The value of the Bag will be R30, and Donation Bag orders will be accumulated and handed over to soup kitchens in Cape Town, Piketberg, and Piket-bo-berg; alternating from week to week. Donation Bags can be ordered through our normal order forms at: www.thosewhoharvest.com/order
The soup kitchens in Cape Town that we are contributing to are located in Manenberg, Mitchells Plain and Delft, and reach about 3000 people in need.
“The existing soup kitchens in the areas could not keep up with the influx of people queueing for food, and donations didn’t come regularly enough due to lockdown restrictions, so we as community workers decided to assist by cooking out of our own cupboards and pockets to assist and try to alleviate some of the people going to bed hungry.”
– Naeema, a community worker serving on the Western Cape Safety Forum Group and the Manenberg Stakeholders that are both currently running soup kitchen across the Western Cape.
Naeema told us that they are trying to go back to the drawing board since many people have been left jobless as small businesses are closing. They are looking into showing people how to grow their own food – a fundamental endeavour that we, as Those Who Harvest are 100% behind. Apart from offering them our support in food self-sufficiency training; we have decided that the ethos of this initiative is well-aligned with our own, and so have chosen it as one of our possible Donation Bag beneficiaries.
Quite simply – being able to grow one’s own food is a skill that enables inclusive freedom, and we believe that everyone had a right to that. We envision a world where hunger does not exist – a daunting task to grapple with when greedy profit-mongers currently preside; but we choose to nurture the goodness we find and will continue on with our journey that we believe true and moral. This, for us, marks a major step in that direction.
– Bushrah, one of those who harvest
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