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Young and old queue for food parcels in Ekurhuleni

Sinegugu Nkosi of In Him Ministries Church in Vosloorus gives out food parcels in Somalia informal settlement. / ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Sinegugu Nkosi of In Him Ministries Church in Vosloorus gives out food parcels in Somalia informal settlement. / ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The struggle to make ends meet for some South Africans during the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred some nongovernmental organisations and ordinary citizens into action to ease the burden.

They have opened their hearts and wallets to the needy who are faced with real hunger by donating food parcels since the start of the lockdown.

While the government has been delivering food parcels for relief to communities that cannot afford to fend for themselves in the tough times brought upon by the Covid-19 global pandemic, not all people have benefited from this.

In Vosloorus on Monday, Bishop Hlony Radebe of In Him Ministries church together with individuals took it upon themselves to give out maize meal bags to the destitute residents of Somalia informal settlement in Ekurhuleni.

The informal settlement residents who included the elderly and children stood in queues to receive food parcels.

"Most of the people in this community depend on piece jobs and because of Covid-19 they cannot even go to work to put food on the table for their families" said Sibongile Molepe, one of the good Samaritans who collaborated with Radebe to donate food.

Molepe said they specifically chose to hand out maize meal bags because different kinds of dishes could be cooked from it such as porridge in the morning and pap in the evening.

Radebe said: "I saw the desperate need for food in the Somalia community and extended a helping hand for not only church members but the community members who are also in need of food".

Community leader Betty Ndlovu said more than 30 youngsters in the area do not have identity documents and therefore do not receive grants.

Meanwhile, actress and singer Letoya Makhene along with her partner Lebo Keswa started a soup drive and food parcel distribution scheme that fed more than 300 families in Soweto.

The former Generations, the Legacy actress said her recent single Ngihawukele inspired her to assist destitute families in the dark times brought upon by Covid -19.

"Through the media interviews I have been doing, people would say that the song heals them spiritually but given what has been happening during Covid-19 and the lockdown, they are hungry and I was touched by this and in partnership with my partner's company Leboswa Investments we started a food parcels and soup drive."

Makhene said they plan to extend the soup drive and food distribution beyond Soweto as they had already started in Alexandra.

"After we gave out the first batch in Soweto, people have already started to go to my grandmother's place to ask for food" she said.

The couple said they are looking forward to expand and do more as they have already managed to get several sponsors on board to help them in furthering their cause to help poor communities.

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