Aid from the National Development Agency (NDA) will help put food on the table for communities in the Free State.
The NDA recently granted an amount of R88 665, 98 to help a Community Nutritional Development Centre (CNDC) to upscale its existing dining furniture, cooking and catering equipment that assists the organisation to prepare and serve meals.
The CNDC run by the “Bomme ba Boithatelo bo Botle” and operating in the Meloding township of Virginia since 2015, is ensuring that 160 nutritiously balanced plates of food that are served daily to individuals who would otherwise go to bed hungry.
The funds will also be used to resuscitate an in-house vegetable garden, damaged by floods, and buying gardening tools, planting implements, and a 5000 litre Jojo tank for constant water supply.
NDA Free State Provincial Manager, Itumeleng Kwenane said that through the grant funding of community development programs like supporting the development aspects of CNDCs, the NDA is able to transform development services in communities to ensure self-help and embed self-reliance.
“Furthermore, the numerous programmes emanating from the CNDCs are there to respond to community needs like planting vegetables to acquire the food to eat but also to sell the surplus, and more importantly, to inculcate own food production,” Kwenane said.
CNDC member, Pulane Molale said that although the ward they operate in is large and poverty stricken, the centre also assists people from other wards.
“Through the assistance of social workers, schools, clinics, community members and the councillor, people that are most in need of food are registered at our centre to receive the meals. The need for our services is growing each day, as many more people are without jobs and income to feed themselves and their families,” Molale explained.
The CNDC employs 10 permanent female staff members, including a seasonal male staffer, who each contribute a monthly fee to support the centre when there is a shortage of food stock.
The centres relies on periodic contributions from the Department of Social Development, National Lotteries Commission, as well as local churches and businesses for food supplies.
Another CNDC member, Dimakatso Ntsane said that they take pride in ensuring that they serve meals with dignity, in a clean environment, and using the best possible catering equipment.
“We are serving poor people here, and they too are appreciative of the service they receive here and it is really their words of encouragement and gratitude that keep us going. To generate an income, we hire out our catering equipment on weekends for community events,” Ntsane said.
All CNDC members have attended various courses, including food preparation standards offered by the department as well as training in financial management, project management and governance from the NDA.
The NDA was formed in 1999 as government’s response to the challenge of poverty and its causes in South Africa.
Source: South African Government News Agency