Food for thought: supplying nutrition to South Africa’s most vulnerable children

November 09, 2016

The country of South Africa is home to approximately 55 million* people. Did you know that, according to UNICEF, an estimated 3.7 million of that population is orphaned children – about half of whom have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and 150,000 of whom are believed to be living in child-headed households?

These distressing numbers are the reason Cargill’s employees in South Africa have partnered with Africa Food for Thought, a non-profit organization that aims to provide nutrition to school children in order to promote concentration and learning, for the past four years.

inpage-food-for-thoughtIn a light-hearted competition to see which team could work the fastest, Cargill employees in Johannesburg packed 130 parcels of food, which Africa Food for Thought distributed to orphaned, vulnerable and child-headed families in local informal settlement“To Cargill, both education and nutrition are important,” said Julia Cavaleros, a Cargill trade execution coordinator in Johannesburg. “Cargill provides Africa Food for Thought with non-perishable food items, blankets for the winter months, as well as educational toys for the crèches and schools that Africa Food for Thought supports.”

On World Food Day 2016, the Cargill team in Johannesburg again pulled the office together to pack 130 parcels of food filled with non-perishable items such as jelly powder, cans of vegetables, pasta, pilchards, sweets, biscuits and soup mixes. They set up the project in the office canteen and had a light-hearted competition to see which team could pack their parcels the fastest. The parcels were then distributed by Africa Food for Thought to orphaned, vulnerable and child-headed families in local informal settlements.

*According to the latest census data.