Hunger is Real - Share a Meal
What is Hunger is Real
Hunger is Real is a programme started in March 2020 as a Christian response to the hunger crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. Countless poor and marginalised people have lost their means of income and ability to buy food to support themselves and their families. Hunger is Real provides support to buy food and food parcels for the needy. 100% of every donation is used for this sole purpose. The programme is well managed and is run by Constantia Catholic Community Outreach and overseen by the Parish Finance Council.
Our parish responds to the pandemic
Think back to March 2020 when our country was suddenly and shockingly plunged into lockdown and our lives changed overnight. It feels like eons ago – certainly a time of fear, bewilderment and uncertainty. Against this setting in those early days of the pandemic our parish knew that the lockdown would have a huge impact on the poor and marginalised people in our society. And as a response we started the HUNGER IS REAL programme by reaching out to the parish to raise money for food.
The response from our parish was hugely generous. Very quickly we raised a large sum of money and were able to support the Archdiocese Food Parcel programme as well as arrange food parcels through St Vincent de Paul for many parishes in Cape Town.
This support continued over the months into a sustainable and steady flow of funds which means that we have been able to extend our support to more parishes on a regular basis. Up to the end of July 2022 we have raised almost R1.2 m which enables us to support our beneficiaries.
Sustaining the Fund
Sustainability is very important. We need to ensure that we have ongoing income or donations to provide continuing support to the organisations we assist and who have come to rely on us. Over the last year we have sustained a total monthly disbursement of approx. R30,000 to our many beneficiaries. This R30k is made up of R10,000 from the parish and R10,00 donations – so we are short of R10,000 a month to sustain the R30,000.
One of the ways to look at this is to think that one food parcel (similar to our bags of love for example), costs about R300 and will feed a family of 4 for a week. NOAH and in our own NOURISH programme are able to provide for a healthy hearty bowl of soup costing about R2.00.
We therefore appeal to all our parishioners, friends and families to continue your support of the Hunger is Real programme so that we can provide this important ongoing relief to those who most need it. Many of our beneficiaries have nowhere else to turn and many of our own Catholic parishes are in dire financial distress as a result of the effects of the pandemic and the current economic situation: unemployment; escalating prices, homelessness; abuse and violence; mental anguish; and xenophobia, anger and hatred.
THANK YOU!!! Your response was typical of our parish – kind, thoughtful, caring and extremely generous! Thank you on behalf of all those we help, for your support, donations and prayers. They bring immense joy and relief and are always received with humble gratitude. It is impossible to find the right words to thank everyone who has supported HUNGER IS REAL over the years. It has truly been God’s work and may He bless you abundantly for your loving care.
Let us continue this important work together. Let us share our gifts with the poor. Let us love our neighbour.
How Can I Help
Four ways to give and get involved
We are asking for monetary donations of any amounts. 100% of every donation made will go towards food parcels and supporting food and hunger programmes in our area. Banking details are below.
CONSTANTIA CATHOLIC HUNGER IS REAL FUND
Thank you for showing your support and donating to the HUNGER IS REAL Fund. You can do this by making an EFT to the below bank account:
Bank: Standard Bank
Account Name: Constantia Catholic Church
Branch Code: 025 309
Current Account No: 07 169 8965
SWIFT Code: SBZAZAJJ
Reference: HUNGER IS REAL
If you wish to receive an acknowledgement or receipt, please include your name and details. If you wish to send a proof of payment, please send it to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. SPREAD THE WORD
Please share this with your friends, family and beyond. There are very many people who may not be in our parish who want to make a difference by helping those in need. Our programme is well established, well managed and every penny goes to feeding the poor and alleviating hunger and suffering.
- Share this webpage address (www.constantiacatholic.com/community-service/hunger-is-real-share-a-meal/)
- Share our banking details (above)
While we minister to the daily needs of the poor, they have also requested our prayers. In all things we turn to Jesus, who identified with the poor and we ask Him to give comfort and strength to the poor and suffering.
So to summarize and to end. We are making a big difference to the lives of many and in the very poorest part of our City. Our Community Outreach team incurs no maintenance or administration costs so 100% of every donation goes to our beneficiaries. Our beneficiaries remain accountable to us for the donations and they are also masters in stretching every penny a long long way.
This is important work and it can only go on with the ongoing support and generousity of you, our parishioners. Indeed our HUNGER IS REAL programme today is so professionally run that even your friends and family looking for a worthy cause might also consider it. That we have raised over R1m so far just shows what we can do!
What you need to know about Hunger
What is Hunger
Hunger is the most extreme expression of poverty. It the number one problem in the world today.
Hunger is that feeling of painful discomfort or weakness caused when people do not consume a sufficient amount of food on a regular basis for a normal, active healthy and dignified life. Hunger is defined by a lack of food, a lack of the right sort of food. The threshold for food deprivation, or undernourishment, is defined by the number of calories required per day (1,500 - 1,800 calories per day).
Food insecurity relates to the availability, access and utilization of food – not knowing from where the next meal is coming. Food insecurity occurs when people lack regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life.
People who experience food insecurity may make sacrifices to be able to eat, or to be able to feed their family. For example, they may miss meals, especially at the end of the month. And when they do eat, it may be whatever is most readily available or cheapest, which often is not the most nutritious food. Even if they meet their daily calorie requirements, people could be missing essential nutrients. This deficiency causes malnutrition.
Effects of Hunger
For children under nutrition causes a higher risk of stunting (low height for a child’s age); blindness (lack of Vitamin A); anemia (lack of iron); overweight; obesity; wasting or severe acute malnutrition (low weight for a child’s age); and chronic diseases like diabetes as they get older. It also affects their ability to cope in school and engage in meaningful employment later in life.
If pregnant mothers are undernourished, their babies cannot develop correctly during pregnancy and are frequently born prematurely and/or underweight. Babies that suffer from malnutrition in the womb have little chance of catching up. They are born with weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to infections. The physical and mental development of the child is restricted which affects their physical and mental capacity as they grow up and in adulthood.
Hunger is a vicious circle. Undernourishment is not only a consequence of poverty, it also causes poverty, being passed on from generation to the next. As earning opportunities decrease the risk of poverty increases – and so the cycle continues.
Hunger in South Africa
Of the 60 million South Africans, one in four regularly experience hunger. (1)
- Approx. 10.2 million (17%) experienced hunger
- Approx. 2.4 million (4%) experienced perpetual hunger (every day or almost every day).
Poverty generally impacts rural South African areas more than urban areas.
Residual Impact of the Pandemic and Economic Crisis
The Residual impact of the Pandemic exacerbated by the economical and political crisis in our Country:
There are over 15 million people (out of a total 0f 60.6 m) in South Africa who suffer from extreme poverty – that is 1 in 4 people in our country. 10 million people experience hunger every week and about 2.4 million experience perpetual hunger (every day or almost every day). Inflation has accelerated to 7.4% in June — the highest since 2009. Hidden in these numbers is 45.3% increase in the fuel price.
Hunger causes physical suffering, anguish, and mental health difficulties. It impedes peoples ability to parent well or work effectively. The scourge of hunger hurts children, especially infants and pregnant or nursing mothers – the most innocent and vulnerable in our society. Children that experience malnutrition are more likely to be stunted which profoundly affects their abilities to cope in school and engage in meaningful employment throughout their lives.
People and especially preschool children that are hungry are more vulnerable to chronic illness. Parents and carers often go without meals themselves and have feelings of shame about the hunger of their children, which further worsens their mental state. And so this horrible cycle goes round.
Unemployment is a major determinant of hunger. South Africa's unemployment rate fell to 33.9% in three months through June 2022. Jobless rate is highest of 82 nations monitored by Bloomberg. (8) Youth unemployment - a recent report by Statistics South Africa shows that in the first quarter of 2022, unemployment among young graduates aged 15-24 declined from 40,3% to 32,6%, while it increased by 6,9 % to 22,4% for those aged 25-34 (9)
Every day too many men and women across the globe struggle to feed themselves and their children a nutritious meal. In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, up to 811 million people still go to bed on an empty stomach each night. That’s almost 12 percent of the world’s population of 7.1 billion people. (2)
After steadily declining for a decade, world hunger is on the rise, driven largely by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2019 to 2020, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 161 million. (3)
98% of those who suffer from hunger live in developing countries, Asian and Pacific regions, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. (4)
An estimated 14m children under the age of 5 worldwide suffer from severe acute malnutrition (known as “severe wasting”) yet only 25% of acutely malnourished children have access to lifesaving treatment. (5)
Approximately 9 million people die of hunger each year according to world hunger statistics; more than the death toll for malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis combined in 2012. Every thirteen seconds, a child dies from the effects of hunger. (6)
Over 60% of the world's hungry are women, who have limited access to resources because of the patriarchal societies in which they live. This is a leading cause of death for children. (7)
Causes of Hunger
Hunger and malnutrition have many causes.
Poverty: Poverty is the number one cause of world hunger. Someone who is poor has insufficient money for food but also cannot provide for their own health and cannot invest in education for children.
Natural disasters: Weather extremes have always led to hunger crises. Droughts and floods destroy harvests. With climate change, extreme weather events are increasing.
Inequality: The inequality between rich and poor is increasing, globally and in individual countries. 1% of the global population possesses nearly half of the global wealth.
Biased global trade: Rich states determine the rules of international policy and unfair trade agreements work to the detriment of poorer non-industrial nations.
Poor governance: The governments in developing countries mostly do not align their policies to the needs of the poorest population and corruption is one of the greatest obstacles.
Waste of resources and climate change: If everyone in the world lived as the rich countries do, resources such as water and land would soon be exhausted.
Wars and Conflict: In 2020 alone, conflict was the primary driver of hunger for 99.1 million people in 23 countries. Economic downturns in countries has also affected food availability and decreased people’s ability to access food.
(1) Food crisis: 2.5 million South Africans experience hunger ‘every day’. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-05-26-food-crisis-2-5-million-south-africans-experience-hunger-every-day/
(2) World Food Programme
How can you help?
Aware of the unprecedented and widespread pain and suffering initially caused by Covid-19 and now exacerbated by the economical and politic crisis in our country and in the world, many people in our parish have asked – WHAT CAN I DO?
The Constantia Parish established the HUNGER IS REAL Fund in March 2020 (just before Easter), to fight the already growing hunger reality, and to be ready for a deepening and ongoing hunger crisis.
Through this fund we have the ability to channel resources to areas where the need is greatest.
Ways to give and get involved:
- Spread the Word
HUNGER IS REAL FUND
Please show your support by donating to the HUNGER IS REAL Fund. You may do this by making an EFT to the below bank account:
Bank: Standard Bank
Account Name: Constantia Catholic Church
Branch Code: 025 309
Current Account No: 07 169 8965
SWIFT Code: SBZAZAJJ
OPTIONAL: If you wish to receive an acknowledgement or receipt, please include your name and details. If you wish to send a proof of payment, please send it to email email@example.com.
OUR PROMISE & GUARANTEE
The entire ring-fenced HUNGER fund is strictly administered by and accounted for by the Outreach Committee which is a part of the Parish Finance Council. We undertake only to co-operate with known and vetted projects and institutions and we guarantee that no money will be spent on admin; and that every cent donated will get to the needy, feed the hungry and give water to the thirsty.
CARITAS is the official social outreach arm of the Catholic Church and in SA receives its mission from the SACBC. It was started in 1897 and now operates as 165 organizations in 200 countries around the world. It has been in SA since 1970 and was constituted in Cape Town at the end of 2020. They are running an emergency programme of Food Parcels to the needy in Cape Town.
We know that covid-19, this silent invisible deadly enemy, is not going away any time soon, nor will it go without a fight. And it is leaving a trail of suffering and destruction behind it. People have become sick, and we deeply mourn those who have died, taken from their families, and us, all too soon, and often in a cruel and heartbreaking way. Our economy has suffered terribly. Large and small businesses have had to close or scale back. The losses are immense – businesses, jobs, livelihoods - lost.
But it is always the poor, the weakest, the most vulnerable in our society that suffer the most, and in this pandemic they have borne a very heavy cross.