The Eden Food Bank serves the hungry people and those in need in the Eden district by coordinating the sourcing and supplying of food to qualifying organisations that serve the needy. We are growing organically and started in George and its surroundings, where the highest numbers of needy in the region are concentrated. George is also the commercial and production node of the region.
Most of us know hunger as something we feel before a meal or a quick snack, but for a growing number of people in our region it is a gnawing emptiness that has become a part of their everyday life. When they do get food it is normally not enough and lacks the nourishment to sustain them. The most vulnerable are the ones least able to fend for themselves, namely women and children.
This need is the result of constantly growing unemployment, with the number of households in George with insufficient, or even no income, having increased astronomically over the last few years.
At the Eden Food Bank we do not believe that it is the sole responsibility of government to meet the needs of the needy, but that it is everyone’s neighbourly duty to reach out to those less fortunate, and help addressing their needs.
The food bank actively approaches food manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers in the region to source food for the needy. This includes excess stock, food close to expiry date, production over runs, and damaged goods.
Other organisations are also approached for sponsorships to cover operational expense and purchase additional foodstuffs to cover shortfalls. Regular campaigns and food drives are also held to source food and funds from concerned individuals and organisations.
The food bank is open for deliveries during set hours, and a driver and transport is available for regular pick-up’s at suppliers.
Food is stored in the food bank warehouse, where it is broken down into smaller amounts and mixed baskets for distribution to qualifying organisations and programmes.
Qualifying organisations and programmes feeding the needy, pick up their food allocation from the food bank when informed to. If an organisations do not have transport available, the food bank have a driver and transport available to deliver food at a nominal fee.
Organisations and programmes in the George region that focus on the needs of the hungry, individually try to source food from various retailers, wholesalers and producers. In the process food gets lost and food sources get overwhelmed by the need.
By centralising the sourcing of food the food bank ensures that all possible sources of food are tapped to maximum effect for the needy. Food sponsors also have peace of mind, knowing that the Eden Food Bank is transparent and accountable, ensuring that the food reaches those in need.
The food bank also have the necessary logistics to pick up the food from sponsors/ suppliers, sort and store it in a way that ensures food safety and minimises spoilage, and distribute the food to organisations/programmes that supply food to those in need.
The Eden Food Bank is dependent on sponsorships and grants to cover its operational budget. The food bank also requires donations of capital equipment to facilitate growth.
The Eden Food Bank is operated as a non-profit trust, the Eden Food Bank Trust (IT2478/2012). We are also registering as a Non Profit Organisation to be able to access grant funding, as well as a Public Benefit Organisation for Tax exemption status and give our donors tax benefits linked to their donations. These registrations also ensure transparency and accountability.
By raising awareness of the plight of the hungry and needy people of Eden and forming strong partnerships with all sectors of society, we are eradicating hunger in the Eden district “one bite at a time”.