1,000 families benefit from food parcels donated by taxi association

Image: Gino Santa Maria/123RF

Girly Nyaloku and her grandchildren were looking forward to eating a decent meal after they have had to survive on porridge with no sugar.

Nyaloku, 65, was one of 1,000 families from Ivory 3 and Themba Khoza informal settlements outside Ivory Park who received food parcels from the Ivory Park Taxi  Association (Ipta) and Kaalfontein Engen garage.

“I stay with my two grandchildren and the government grant money that we get is not enough to last us the whole month. The children are at home the whole day [and] as a result they are forever eating. The food parcels came at the right time and hopefully it will last us till the next pay date,” she said.

Another grandmother Elsie Solindawo, 63, said things were difficult for families in her community.

“You can't even ask the neighbours for help because we are all going through the same situation. We had been waiting for government grants but nothing happened; these parcels came at the right time for us. Imagine the pain of seeing your children going to bed on an empty stomach and you don’t even have a plan for them,”  she said.

The residents were ferried from their areas to Ivory Park taxi rank where they collected the food parcels.

Ipta vice chairperson Vusi Macheke said they decided to stick to the lockdown regulations by transporting nine passengers in a taxi.

“This is our way of ploughing back to the community because these are the same people who spend their money on our industry. We could not just sit and pretend as if we don’t see their suffering. Times are hard for all of us but you can imagine how it feels for someone who doesn’t have an income,” he said.

The owner of Kaalfontein Engen, Sanjay Govina, said it started a joint venture with Ipta in 2012.

“It is very important to give back to the community because these are the people who support our businesses. We did not want to politicise this, therefore we asked Ipta to identify elderly and disabled people.  We don’t want people to be frustrated by hunger during these trying times,” Govina said.

The families received a 12.5kg bag of mealie meal,  2-litres of cooking oil, canned stuff, sugar, teabags and powdered soap.

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