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Volunteering just 67 minutes can feed 450 000 hungry children for a year

For 450 000 vulnerable children, giving 67 minutes of your time for Nelson Mandela on Wednesday, 13 July can stave off their hunger for as long as a year.

To honour Nelson Mandela’s rich legacy of caring for those in need, Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa and Sun International’s GrandWest Casino are gearing up to pack 450 000 meals that will benefit children at the Early Childhood Development Centres supported by Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, along with a number of non-governmental organisations partners.

The national Mandela Day commemoration will also take place at a further four Sun International properties, namely The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth on 16 July, Sibaya in KwaZulu Natal on 18 July, Carnival City in Johannesburg on 19 July and Sun City on 20 July.The initiative forms part of Stop Hunger Now’s global campaign to mark International Mandela Day by packing and distributing meal boxes to those in need. Each meal box contains 36 meal bags, which in turn contain six meals each. Meal bags are planned to deliver optimal nutrition to children. The bags are packed with rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin sachet containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

Between 8.30am and 5pm, GrandWest’s Market Hall will be transformed into a streamlined packing facility with 30 production lines consisting of 20 volunteers each. In total, 600 volunteers, organised into 150 three-member teams working four shifts, will pack a total of 12 500 meal boxes containing 36 meal bags in each.

Heidi Edson, Sun International Group Socio-Economic Development Manager said, “We appeal to Capetonians, and especially to other corporate companies based in Cape Town, to join us in making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. From our privileged position it is often difficult to imagine what it must be like to go to bed hungry every night, but for 3-million South Africans this is a reality. Please help us to make this challenge a reality, and to ensure that 450 000 children can stop worrying about where their next meal will come from”.

Explaining the registration process, Saira Khan CEO of Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa said, “An entry fee of R10 000 will be levied for each corporate team of 20 people. This money will be used to buy the dry ingredients and to cover the basic cost of the packaging. Individuals wishing to participate can do so for a donation of R500. Pre-registration can be done either online via http://www.stophungernow.org/south-africas-million-meal-challenge-for-mandela-day/, or by emailing events@stophungernowsa.org to request a registration form.”

Four two-hour packing sessions have been planned for the day but will be extended to a fifth session if sufficient entries are received. Once packed, the meals will be stored at the Stop Hunger Now warehouse, to be distributed over the next 12 months.

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