Tomorrow, 16 October 2021, the Western Cape will join the rest of the world in commemorating World Food Day.
In the lead up to World Food Day 2021, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) recently hosted an event in the Witzenberg municipality. The occasion provided the Department and its partners with the opportunity to support the local community, household, and school food security projects.
This year, 179 households and 12 diverse community projects (including clinics, schools, and nursing homes) within the Witzenberg Municipality benefitted directly from the day’s events. In addition, a local school gardening competition aimed at stimulating agriculture literacy at an early age was also held.
According to Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey 2019, 11% of the population (6.5 million people) suffered from hunger in 2019. The percentage of households that were vulnerable to hunger was estimated at 10,3%, while the percentage of households that had limited access to food was 17,8% at the same time.
For this reason, the WCDoA’s One Home, One Garden Campaign continues to make an impact. In the 2020/2021 financial year, the WCDoA rolled out 5 640 household food gardens to support household food security.
Commenting on the One Home, One Garden Campaign, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer said:
“In response to the humanitarian challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak early in 2020 and the resulting humanitarian challenges, additional funding was allocated to restore the wellbeing and dignity of marginalised and vulnerable households in the province. By doing so, 5 640 households benefitted from our One Home, One Garden Campaign.”
Minister Meyer continues: “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating effect on food security of many individuals and households. The WCDoA will therefore continue to support households, community gardens and schools. The target for the 2021/2022 period is 1800 households.”
With the support of sponsors and the generosity of the staff members, the WCDoA managed to mobilise donations towards a Food Mountain that was donated to five local NGOs/NPOs in the Witzenberg area.
Minister Meyer concludes: “Amid COVID -19 pandemic, this year’s celebration challenged people to think of food as a symbol of hope, care, wealth, dignity and strength. As a result, we continue to put in resources and efforts to tackle food insecurity at community and household levels. By doing so, we provide vulnerable households access to a stable, safe, nutritious food source. It is also about providing our citizens with dignity and wellbeing.”