South Africans uniteLast week, when food shortages seemed inevitable in the aftermath of the looting, Durban mom, Hannalie’s anxiety quickly escalated to panic. She has a four month old baby and her tin of baby formula was about to run out. What on earth could she do if she was unable to buy more? How would her baby survive?
She joined the long, long queue outside the supermarket. To pass the time, she started chatting to the woman in front of her. Noma was also desperate for baby formula.
But this was not the first time the other mom had been in this predicament. Not because the shops were short of formula - but because she struggles to find the money to buy it.
Noma is a part time domestic worker and lives in a humble home in the township. She doesn’t have a well stocked pantry or freezer to fall back on in a situation like this. She just buys basic food items whenever she manages to earn a few rands.
And, because she’s a mother, baby formula is always top of her list. At around R200 for the small tin, it’s often the only thing she can afford. So she goes hungry herself to keep her child fed.
Three hours later, and still only just within site of the supermarket entrance, Hannalie got a WhatsApp from her mother to say that she had managed to get two tins of formula from a friend of a friend, and was on her way to drop them off. Hannalie kept one tin for herself and gave the other to Noma. Both women were in tears when they parted.
But something inside Hannalie was changed forever. “I always knew many people were unemployed and hungry,” she says. “I felt sorry for them, but I’m ashamed to say, it didn’t really affect me. After meeting Noma and spending so much time chatting and hearing about her life, I want to do something to help people like her.”
Hannalie chose to give to Siyabonga Africa's tried and tested food voucher project. Her R500 donation provided an SMS voucher, delivered directly to the phone of a less fortunate South African.
The recipient of Hannalie's kindness can go shopping at any Checkers, Shoprite or USave and buy whatever items they need most. Baby formula and nappies ... basic food items like bread and milk, sugar, rice, maize meal, tinned fish and peanut butter ... sanitary pads, tampons or soap.
Right now, we have thousands of requests for vouchers and not enough money to fund them all. So, if you've been moved by the stories of unity and ubuntu that have swept through social media over the weekend, this is your chance to be part of it.
Make your donation online now, and your gift of food and groceries can be in the hands of a desperate mother, grandmother or family man within hours.
Together we can rebuild our country - stronger than ever!