Nelson Mandela Day Million Meal Challenge a resounding success!
The “Million Meal Challenge” was an initiative of Stop Hunger Now, an international NGO working in South Africa to eradicate hunger in the country. The event saw over 6000 volunteers in three cities package over one million meals in a single day. This achievement was a world first!
These highly nutritious, dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soya, vegetables, and 21 essential vitamins and minerals. The meals are easy to store and transport and have a shelf life of over a year. The cost is per meal is only R2.75 and it is packaged to feed 10 children or 6 adults comfortably. The packaged meals will be distributed in the months ahead to Early Childhood Development centres and schools affected by extreme poverty.
Commenting on the importance of the project, Durban ICC Chief Executive Officer, Lindiwe Rakharebe noted, “Eradicating hunger is the first step in preventing so many of the other social ills plaguing our society today. Alleviating this kind of suffering is essential, especially during the window of early childhood development in their formative years. Without solving the hunger problem, it is almost impossible for our children to meet any of their other developmental goals.”
“Mandela Day is more than a commemoration of the life and legacy of Madiba, it is an opportunity for all of us to honour his life’s work and do something practical to make the world a better place. What better way to honour the continuing legacy of Nelson Mandela, than by rolling up our sleeves and giving of our time and resources to serve those who need our help?” added Rakharebe.
With the support of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, the event was hosted in Durban for the first time this year. The three venues which took on the challenge were the Durban ICC, the Sandton Convention Centre and Canal Walk in Cape Town.
The event was brilliantly supported by several corporate organisations in the city who adopted the project as a Corporate Social Investment project as part of their voluntary service for Nelson Mandela Day. The companies contributed both their time and money to the cause, entering teams of volunteers to pack the meals as well as sponsoring the cost of the meals they packed.
For more information about the initiative and all that was accomplished on the day, please visit the Stop Hunger Now website, www.stophungernowsa.org.