COVID-19 Lockdown Response: Informal Settlements Food Relief Initiative

Hunger combined with the COVID-19 pandemic poses a greater threat to the poor communities than the pandemic on its own. With little economic opportunities during the lockdown and insignificant informal trade, most of the informal settlements communities especially are struggling to put food on the table. The demand for and access to food has become a major point of concern and a huge priority.

DAG continues to work closely with various partners and organisations involved in food relief, to ensure that informal settlement communities continue to have access to food. As a way of responding to this heart-wrenching situation, we are partnering and engaging with Aurecon, One Church Ministries (OC), Rise Against Hunger and other willing donors alongside community leaders, to provide food parcels and cooked meals for many vulnerable families in 21 informal settlements in Mossel Bay, six informal settlements in Sedgefield and four settlements in Tulbagh, who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Through this initiative and partnerships, DAG assisted the community leaders in Mossel Bay, Sedgefield and Tulbagh informal settlements with resources for the soup kitchen and families with essential supplies. To extensively distribute the much-needed resources and food supplies, the community leaders came up with an economically effective initiative with a wider reach. Subsequently, the DAG team assisted with purchasing supplies for cooking hot soup and other meals which fed thousands of people which has a further reach than food parcel donations which are expensive and can only reach a limited number of people.

As a result, DAG working closely with community leaders have distributed hot meals, serving more than 3285 meals across over 13 different informal settlements. Particular attention was paid to maintaining social distancing in the food queues. All meals were prepared by leaders in their respective informal settlements, under strict guidelines. DAG and its partners are trying their best to share the limited resources available to ensure that marginalised communities are taken care of as well as reduce the risks faced by vulnerable households and communities.t have access to only shared ablution facilities.