It’s been a year since the pandemic reached our shores and everything changed. 2020 was a year of adaptation & coming up with creative, innovative ways to keep impacting lives & tending to the welfare of the poor. The result was one of our most impactful years to date.
To date we have managed to hand out 2 million meals to those in need in our city, through our incredible soup kitchen leaders who serve their comminities. The 70 soup kitchens continue to receive gas and food from us each week in order to cook and feed those in need around them. Majority of the people receiving food are children.
Many of these soup kitchens also run creches in their areas where they feed the children at the creche, and we are so grateful to be able to partner with these Early Learning Centres. Our Love Sandwiches project, which was launched in January this year, serves many of these creches with sandwiches for the children and to date we have been able to distribute 16 534 sandwiches!
Thank you to all those who have supported and continue to support this project. We are so grateful and so are the many lives that have been blessed.
Hardship is an everyday truth. Poverty for many is a way of life. It’s this reality that inspired us to open Love Story eight years ago. Nothing could have prepared us for the pain we have seen in our community over the years. Stories of families losing their homes in fires, mothers birthing babies into extreme impoverishment, children living in drain pipes, addicts dying alone on the street and the list goes on. It’s these human circumstances that drive us, that cause us to sit up, listen and find solution.
The beauty of this is that the solution almost always is the community itself. It’s through the generous donations of finance, resources and volunteerism that we’ve been able to feed hundreds of thousands of people, revamp hospital wards, build early learning centers, clothe hundreds of newborns and distribute blankets, clothing and groceries to thousands of people in need. We have learned that our impact is only as significant as the generosity of our community and because of this we can proudly say that our impact is immense!
We experienced an unprecedented level of support during the difficult months of lockdown. Our daily mandate at Love Story usually takes on the appearance of large crowds through our feeding schemes. When lockdown restrictions were instated we could no longer gather people which meant hundreds of homeless people going without food each day. Government restrictions limited our operation for the first few weeks and we sat dormant waiting on breakthrough. With the economy under pressure we expected financial donations to come to a stand still.
A few days into lockdown one of our main corporate sponsors informed us of an incredible food product that could be purchased affordable in bulk and that they would pay for the first lot if we could distribute it. After the first distribution of a few hundred kilograms, and faced with the desperation of the recipients, we realized that we could not stop there!
We immediately launched an online campaign encouraging our supporters to give financially so that we could continue to feed the hungry. Within the first ten days of our “Lockdown Campaign” we raised enough to serve 70 000 meals - this was the beginning of April. By the end of May we had served 350 000 meals and by September we had reached 1 million meals. Our soup kitchens grew from 15 sites to over 70 as community leaders from all over starting setting up little feeding schemes to meet the needs in their neighborhoods. We saw our community give everything they could even though it was a time of loss and shortfall for all.
Thanks to the overwhelming support from individuals from all around the world, churches and corporates, we have now served 1,5 million meals during lockdown.
During the world’s darkest hour, we witnessed a beautiful shift in humanity, an overwhelming kindheartedness, a literal example of light piercing the darkness and enveloping it.
Thank you to each and every individual for reaching out over this period of lockdown. In an extremely trying time globally we saw a community stand together like never before. From every person on the receiving end of a warm meal, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We have been able to serve over one million meals during our national lockdown that started in March. More than half of the individuals receiving meals are children and so we are incredibly grateful for what we have been able to do with your support.
Over 2 million children go hungry in South Africa every day. Over and above being malnourished, children are too hungry to attend school or focus on their work.
With Early Learning Centers opening up recently, multitudes of children will rely on school feeding programmes. For many, this means one meal each day.
We continue to appeal for support for this project to be able to feed more children.
Through our GlobalGiving account, for this week only, all donations up to $50 will be matched at 50%! Help us grow our donations by clicking this link:
The last few months have been a whirlwind. With so many of our plans and projects being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to adapt as things come our way.
With the current national lockdown in South Africa, all schools are closed, and therefore our usual feeding schemes through the creches are not open. However, many of the community leaders who run the creches are now running soup kitchens to feed to hungry in their communities, which includes the hundreds of children that would normally be fed through their creche feeding scheme.
During this time we have been working tirelessly, with the support of many businesses and members of the public, to ensure that the thousands of starving, destitute people in our communities are being fed. To date, we have been able to distribute over 300 000 meals, but there are still many many more mouths to feed and people to reach.
If you would like to support our COVID-19 Feeding Scheme project, please follow the link to have a look at what we're doing and donate:
Thank you for taking the time to catch up with us.
We are off to a busy start this year! Our offices opened on 13 January after the Chrirstmas break and we have hit the ground running!
Over December we were able to bless all of the creches we support with what we call 'Buckets of Blessing' which are buckets (or bags) filled with non-perishable food items to see them through over the festive season. This is always an exciting time for us as it is a special Christmas blessings to so many families in need.
We were also able to hand out these parcels at our City Feed, which is the soup kitchen we run every week night throughout the year. We were able to bless everyone with a bag of goodies as well as a hot meal, bread rolls, cupcakes and donuts! It really was a special Christmas celebration.
In the month ahead we will be doing more hand outs at the creches we support which are all in underprivileged and destitute areas of our city, as well as doing a hospital handout to new moms at one of our public hospitals where mom's often leave without having the necessary items to care for their babies. We are so looking forward to this. Please make sure to have a look at our next project report which will include photos from these handouts.
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