Generosity of Kenton-on-Sea ratepayers enables hugely successful food parcel project

The major stumbling block to this project has been the attempts by politically motivated people to try and muscle in to claim the glory! And in some cases were trying to stop the whole process altogether.

On March 30, Kenton-on-Sea Ratepayers Association (Kosra) put out a challenge to their community – both resident and non-resident in Kenton – to help those, especially those in Ekuphumleni, who would be hardest hit by the lockdown, short of resources and unable to buy food.

Kosra said the response was overwhelming. They said there was immediate help from Spar, and the Kosra committee decided to allocate substantial seed-funding.

Since then, they have raised R450,129.92 and have undertaken five nights trips into Ekuphumleni to deliver 200 food parcels each night.

Kosra provided a timeline of the deliveries.

NIGHT ONE – 6th April 2020

After much planning and the careful consideration of potential obstacles, the distribution of the first food parcels took place last night.

The distribution team have divided Ekuphumleni into five zones. Each zone will receive a food parcel drop during this week.

The convoy, consisting of a HiTec patrol vehicle in the lead and rear, plus a SAPS patrol vehicle, escorted the SPAR truck carrying the food parcels.

The operation took two hours, beginning at 01:00 and was completed by 03:00.

We are fortunate to have a young social worker, Michael Konaha, working with us. He is familiar with the community and very aware of those who are most in need.

We are fortunate to have a young social worker, Michael Konaha, working with us. He is familiar with the community and very aware of those who are most in need.

Together with nine other volunteers from the community 200 parcels were handed out to families in need from the people of Kenton.

Last night the weather conditions were not kind to us as it was very windy and chilly. There were also many dogs to contend with and it often took some time to wake the sleeping residents.

However, feedback from the volunteer helpers was that the parcels were unexpected and very gratefully received.

Night one was a great success!

  • A big thank you to a kind community member for donation of 100 packets of porridge, and to
  • Coega Dairies for 3 000 x 1 litre packs of UHT milk.

 

NIGHT TWO – 7th April 2020

The team worked a great deal more efficiently on night two.  The houses we delivered to in Zone 2 were closer together resulting in volunteers only having to cover about five kilometres.

We began shortly before midnight and 200 parcels were delivered by 01:10.  Again, there were no incidents and an enormous gratitude shown by the folk receiving the food parcels.

This morning there were a couple of complaints raised by members of certain political parties as to whether those within the community who are receiving food parcels actually are the most deserving. I will engage with the complainants to ensure their concerns are addressed and any issues ironed out.

It is understandable that word is now out that food parcels are being delivered and some within the community may feel overlooked.

We continue to stress that our efforts will carry on for a further 3 nights covering the remaining 3 zones within Ekuphumleni.  We remain committed to the fact that we wish to support those most in need in an unbiased and non-political way.

Since these complaints were received an investigation was undertaken. I am very glad to report that it was just a misunderstanding. Once I explained that there were still 3 zones to deliver food parcels to everyone was happy.

 

NIGHT THREE – 8th April 2020

Night three was extremely successful. The zone we distributed to tonight was very much a shantytown with few roads and highly dense informal shacks on the eastern side of Ekuphumleni.

Distribution was understandably slow and there was more pressure on the volunteers as they had to navigate through this densely populated area. We began at 12:45 and ended at 02:00.

Word of the food relief has clearly spread and folk were, in many cases, expecting the knock at their doors.  We insist that the food parcels are only handed to people who are in their homes. This has given the team the opportunity to reiterate the importance of staying indoors.

There are two more drops to do and then we should have covered all of Ekuphumleni.

This morning one of the local farmers kindly delivered the first pallet of 900 litres of long life milk. A further 1 800 litres are still to be delivered. The generosity of the people of Kenton has been overwhelming and it is heartening to see the appreciation and gratitude of the folk who are being supported through this KOSRA initiative.

 

NIGHT FOUR – 9 April 2020

This was conducted in Zone 4 which is the informal settlement that has sprung up on the north eastern boundary of Ekuphumleni.  Shacks with very poor people; it’s hard to believe that there is such poverty so close to our homes.

Very difficult terrain and as there is no lighting and because of the informality of the road structure, suppling the homes took longer, in fact it was our longest run and took until 02:45.

In order not to re-supply the same home twice, and in case of any come back, each home supplied had a distinctive dot spray painted at the door for recognition purposes.

The reception here was more than grateful and in many cases we have ‘staved the wolf from the door’.

 

NIGHT FIVE – 10 April 2020

This was most probably and always going to be our easiest night because of the road structure and the layout of houses in Zone 5. These are all the new RDP houses and it was also our fastest delivery by far. We completed our round in just over an hour with no complications.

 

OVERVIEW

PARCELS DELIVERED

Let’s now take stock of this remarkable community achievement.

The amount of meals contained in each parcel delivered to Ekuphumleni

  • 5kg maize meal – 30 meals
  • 2kg rice – 14 meals
  • 5 instant noodles – 5 meals
  • 500g peanut butter @ 20g/portion 25 portions
  • Tea, stack cubes, sugar, salt and soap

We delivered 200 parcels per night

  • 11 kg per parcel
  • 2.2 tons of food per night
  • 5 nights
  • 11 tons in total

 

SPECIAL THANKS

Very special thanks to Ross Swarts, HiTec, SAPS, Mike Konaha and his team of volunteers. This initiative would also not have been possible without the help of the entire KOSRA committee and most importantly all of you, who have so generously donated to this community effort.

 

Our methods of distribution were well thought out and planned. At no time was anyone’s safety or health compromised.

 

DONATIONS

To date we have R421 000.00 in donations. If you have not yet helped PLEASE please do! We really are making one of the biggest differences in any community in South Africa at the moment. Become a part, of what we think, is a ground breaking effort.

 

KOSRA COVID-19 RELIEF FUND

Standard Bank

28‐394‐816‐7

Reference – COVID-19

 

KNOCK-ON

This effort has had the most notable knock on effect as there is now an initiative started by concerned residents of Bushmans River, Cannon Rocks and Boknes. They aim to supply parcels to Marcelle and Klipfontein, I salute you!

 

BushBokRiverRocks!

Standard Bank

08-400-241-7

051001 – Cannon Rocks Ratepayers Association

Reference – COVID

crra.treasurer01@gmail.com

 

I believe that a similar initiative has also started in Port Alfred by their ratepayers association to help both Bathurst and Nemato.

 

STUMBLING BLOCK

The major stumbling block to this project has been the attempts by politically motivated people to try and muscle in to claim the glory! And in some cases were trying to stop the whole process altogether.

From the outset this has always been an apolitical initiative. It is about feeding the really needy and not about gain for a political person or party.

 

Mark Moses

On Behalf of KOSRA

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