WERE it not for a mobile soup kitchen, McCallister Jere would go hungry.
The 11-year-old has been getting meals from a soup kitchen at his school for the last three years. He is from a family of five that depends on his father's meagre wages.
McCallister, a Grade 6 pupil at Kaalfontein Primary School in Ekurhuleni, said: "I am living proof of the nutritious soup that is offered here. Before the soup kitchen was introduced I would go to school hungry and back home where I would sleep on an empty stomach."
The Shoprite Mobile Kitchen programme was started three years ago to help communities fight poverty and malnutrition. The retail giant started the soup kitchen project with the help of major corporate companies.
Last year eight mobile kitchens were added to the nationwide project.
The project's main focus is on people living with HIV and Aids, the aged, orphans, primary schools and areas affected by natural disaster and job losses.
The mobile kitchens have provided more than 3,3million cups of soup and bread. It will continue running through the winter.
Meanwhile, homeless shelters and charity organisations in Johannesburg are bracing themselves for an increased demand for their services in winter.
The Salvation Army will be running a holiday club during the World Cup that will offer snacks and lunch to street children who will be taking part in the soccer clinic programme.
The organisation has pleaded for donations of clothes, non-perishable food and blankets for the winter season.
Captain Patti Niemand said more people would be coming to the organisation for help this winter.
"Because of the cold spell the need for donations will increase," Niemand said.