The University of Cape Town’s Children Count latest report shows that one in every 10 households have reported child hunger.

Even more alarmingly, the 2020 South African Child Gauge estimates that more than one in four or 27% of children are stunted as a result of malnutrition.

Eskort has therefore stepped forward to drive support for local communities by introducing the ongoing ‘Mapha R5: Feed the Future’ initiative at its 15 retail stores nationally.

This programme aims to encourage customers to join in making a positive difference by donating R5 towards feeding children.

The targeted areas for the project include:

  • Nelspruit
  • Estcourt
  • Boksburg
  • Crown Gardens
  • Silverton
  • Honeydew
  • Heidelberg
  • Roodepoort
  • Gezina
  • Secunda
  • Centurion
  • Kimberley
  • Hartbeespoort
  • Protea Glen
  • Queenstown
  • Xavier, and
  • Irene.

To further support this initiative, each of Eskort’s 15 retail stores, factories and head office have reached out to schools and charitable organisations within their respective regions, where staff will be distributing hot dogs to nearly 22 000 destitute children throughout the coming week in celebration of Youth Day.

Marcelle Pienaar, group marketing manager of Eskort, says that its new feeding scheme reflects Eskort’s commitment to supporting those in need, especially in difficult times for households and consumers.

“Food is a basic survival need, but with rising costs of living and widespread unemployment, many families and children do not know where their next meal may be coming from,” she says.

“In honour of Youth Day, we hope to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of our country’s youth as tomorrow’s leaders. This initiative will therefore continue to give back on a monthly basis to ensure that impoverished youth and children have ongoing access to food,” adds Pienaar.

Pienaar says that name of the campaign was inspired by the word ‘mapha’, which is used in African cultures to ask others to share what they are having and is particularly used by children to share their lunchbox food with one another.

“With Mapha R5, we’re calling on all South Africans to join us in helping children in need, beginning with something as simple as just R5 donations at your closest Eskort stores,” Pienaar adds.

“Individually, this amount may seem small, but our collective contributions and involvement can make a world of difference to the lives of underprivileged youth and children,” concludes Pienaar.

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