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South Africans are, literally, starving! - Lorenzo Davids, Community Chest WC

23 June 2020 12:27 PM
Tags:
Hunger
Food
Food insecurity
Lester Kiewit
child hunger
Coronavirus
Lockdown
COVID-19
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
Community Chest Western Cape
Lorenzo Davids

It never stops - every day, thousands of desperately hungry South Africans of all races plead with Lorenzo Davids for food.

(Related article: Great harvests - 2nd largest maize production ever - to drive down food prices)


Lorenzo Davids (CEO, Community Chest Western Cape) recently, while on-air during an interview about food relief, mistakenly gave out his cellphone number.

The result devastated him.

Within the first 30 minutes, more than 1000 desperate messages flooded in, and it hasn’t stopped since.

Aerial view of the queue of residents of Iterileng informal settlement waiting to receive their food parcels on 20 May 2020.

Every day it continues. I get called early morning, late at night…

Lorenzo Davids, CEO - Community Chest Western Cape

To those people we have not called back yet: I apologise. It's literally thousands. To those people who, with full understanding, have become abusive and insulting, I understand that as well… I accept you need to be angry and perhaps even insulting. I am not upset. I wish I can reach out to every one of you.

Lorenzo Davids, CEO - Community Chest Western Cape

Davids says he finds extreme hunger "amongst all cultures" right now - "White, Black, Coloured, Indian and everything in between".

Extracts from a Facebook post by Davids:

  • "A mother from Garries called to say seven people in a home are starving. They have not had food for three days."

  • "A woman who feeds 11 people as a pensioner cried on the phone with me about her fears the grandchildren's health is being compromised due to the fact they are eating less and less as every day goes by."

  • "A young man texted me to say the family next door to him are all sick with Covid-19 - the entire family. They need food urgently."

  • "A farmer from the North West called me. He cried on the phone. He said he and his wife are both diabetics. The farm is dead. Their workers have had no food. He said with tears about his wife: 'I fear she is going to die. She's only eating one small meal a day. Please help us.'"

  • "From Bethlehem in the Free State a grandmother text me: 'Asseblief, ek soek net 'n bord kos. Enige kos.'"

Lester Kiewit interviewed Davids about his heart-breaking realisation.

People are so hungry in this country right now! … 13 million food-insecure people… They eat less than a meal per day, and that meal is not nutritious… Their children are eating even less… People are literally starving!

Lorenzo Davids, CEO - Community Chest Western Cape

You’re going to have stunting, diminished learning abilities, illnesses because of not eating a proper diet… We are paying a severe price…

Lorenzo Davids, CEO - Community Chest Western Cape

South Africa has pockets of enormous prosperity and large swathes of hunger and devastation… We must stand together to feed our nation!

Lorenzo Davids, CEO - Community Chest Western Cape

We cannot have people die on their [our leaders] watch… If they can’t attend to that, they must make space for new leaders… This must become Cabinet’s priority! … If we could muster R500 billion to save Big Business – we need a fifth of that to address food insecurity! … It’s a sad reflection of what we prioritise in this country.

Lorenzo Davids, CEO - Community Chest Western Cape

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


23 June 2020 12:27 PM
Tags:
Hunger
Food
Food insecurity
Lester Kiewit
child hunger
Coronavirus
Lockdown
COVID-19
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
Community Chest Western Cape
Lorenzo Davids

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