With hunger and poor nutrition remaining a significant concern for millions of South Africans, the Dis-Chem Foundation, in partnership with FUTURELIFE®, will be doubling the number of meals provided to struggling families.
“The impact of lockdown and its effect on the economy is still being felt by millions who go to bed hungry almost every night. While social grants are assisting in reducing food insecurity in South Africa, there are still too many families who do not have access to food. Therefore, we have decided to increase the number of healthy and nutritious meals supplied to children from 50 000 to 100 000 every month from May 20th,” says Sherry Saltzman of the Dis-Chem Foundation.
Results from the Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Crams) studies performed last year indicated that between May and June 2020, 21% of those surveyed said that someone in their household went hungry, and in October, 15% said that at least one child went hungry every week.
Another study performed by the IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis showed that 9,34 million people in South Africa (16% of the population, up by 5% compared to 2019) faced high levels of food insecurity. 
“We cannot ignore that the IPC predicted that by March 2021, at least 20% of the population will have no access to food, so if our meals can make even the smallest of impacts, we will be satisfied. Hunger has always been a serious concern in South Africa, but the exponential growth in numbers is worrying,” says Saltzman.
There are too many children in South Africa who make up these statistics, and without access to long term balanced and nutritious food, malnutrition and stunted growth is becoming worse.
Now in its second year, the Dis-Chem partnership with FUTURELIFE® is being driven by sales of FUTURELIFE® products and is being administered by Hope Worldwide, an organisation which has been serving vulnerable children, households and communities since 1993. Dis-Chem loyalty members have the option to transfer their points from their Benefits Card when purchasing the products labelled in-store. For every labelled product sold, Dis-Chem and FUTURELIFE® will donate one meal.
According to Mark Bunn, Managing Director FUTURELIFE®, the partnership brings together the core purpose of both organisations in a new way. “The Dis-Chem Foundation cares about impoverished families with no basic food and shelter, while our vision is to spread health and happiness to as many people as possible by helping them make the right nutritional choices.”
Saltzman says while Covid-19 is a threat to health, hunger is a more tangible threat that no-one can ignore. “We are pleased that our feeding scheme partnerships will provide some relief for the beneficiaries. While the needs are insurmountable, the Dis-Chem Foundation’s assistance means we can make a small difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.”