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Food Lover’s Market and partners kick off Hunger Month with the aim of raising 4 million meals during May

Food Lover’s Market launched its 8th in-store Hunger Month initiative to drive their purpose of nourishing and enriching lives by raising funds to feed hungry South Africans on 01 May 2024, culminating with World Hunger Day. Partnering with suppliers that share the company’s values, Food Lover’s Market Hunger Month aims to create awareness and raise funds for meals for the vulnerable annually. It has collected 9,590,063 meals through its partner suppliers and customers since 2017. Shoppers are encouraged to voluntarily buy a meal for 47 cents at Food Lover’s Market till points during the month of May. On World Hunger Day, 28 May 2024, Food Lover’s Market will match all meals shoppers donate.

This year, the retailer is starting its annual drive with more than 2.5 million meals already banked through generous contributions from key partners – including legacy partner Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing.

Repurposing surplus food

The funds raised during Food Lover’s Market Hunger Month will contribute towards assisting FoodForward SA in distributing surplus food donated by its partners. In answering a question in parliament last year, the Department of Health confirmed the scary statistics: Over 15,000 children are diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, with 1,000 dying directly from it. A 2022 research study showed that malnutrition is the underlying cause of death in a third of child deaths in South Africa – another 10,000 deaths a year, while 27% of children under five are stunted due to chronic malnutrition.

Campaigns such as Hunger Month, as well as ongoing drives to repurpose surplus food through donations to organisations such as FoodForward SA, are integral to combatting this terrible scourge.

“The hunger crisis in South Africa is catastrophic,” says Kate Marais, Wellness Manager for Food Lover’s Market. “Last year, we set the bar high, aiming for 3 million meals. We eventually exceeded our goal and raised enough donations to provide 3,400,000 meals to less-privileged South Africans. 4 million can easily be achieved if we all work together.”

Terri Coppin-Harris, Culture & Communication Manager at Food Lover’s Market, continues, “In addition to the Hunger Month campaign, we are involved in a continuous effort to combat hunger as part of our long-standing relationship with FoodForward SA. Food Lover’s Market is constantly repurposing surplus edible food by donating it to FoodForward SA – they then ensure that this surplus food reaches its network of 2500 beneficiary organisations on a weekly basis.”

These beneficiary organisations include charities and schools to help children, families, the elderly, and the homeless.

Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director for FoodForward SA, says, “Food waste significantly contributes to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. However, we are effectively repurposing high-quality surplus food through our partnerships along the food supply chain and with retailers like Food Lover’s Market. By rescuing it from disposal and redistributing it to communities in need, we are mitigating this environmental impact while addressing food insecurity.”

A supplier network that cares

As in 2023, Food Lover’s Market and its partners changed their approach to collecting meals by making a large upfront contribution. This year, the upfront contributions came from forecourt convenience retailer FreshStop and Food Lover’s Market fresh and grocery suppliers, with Tru-Cape Marketing as the biggest and longest-standing donor.

Says Andy Du Plessis, “FoodForward SA gratefully acknowledges its role as a beneficiary of the eighth Hunger Month campaign. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Food Lover’s Market, its suppliers, staff, and shoppers for their remarkable annual initiative. Through their efforts and the partnership with FoodForward SA since the campaign’s inception, millions of nutritious meals have been provided to those experiencing hunger.”

Says Coppin-Harris, “This year, we intend to hit it out of the park for our fellow South Africans and achieve our goal of 4 million meals. We are encouraging our shoppers to help us achieve this goal by donating at till points during the month of May. While 47 cents, or even R47, may not mean that much to you, it might make a world of difference to a hungry child.”

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