For ten weeks until the end of 2021, Liberty Financial Advisers are rising to the challenge as they raise funds to provide 30 000 meals to people in need. As part of a newly established partnership with food relief organisation, SA Harvest, the new Meals for Deals initiative is all about South Africa’s growing food insecurity problem.
While South Africa has often struggled with rising levels of poverty and hunger, the COVID-19 global pandemic has reduced incomes, disrupted supply chains and led to a more severe increase in food insecurity worldwide.
“A lack of food is one of the most urgent crises facing our country, but we’ve noticed one thing since the start of the pandemic: human kindness is also an increasing trend,” says Johan Minnie, Liberty Group Executive for Sales.
With accessibility and affordability at the core of food insecurity, businesses must help fill the gaps, explains Minnie, all as a way of pursuing “kinder capitalism”.
The concept is based on the 2020 World Economic Forum’s New Davos Manifesto, endorsing the notion that companies can move beyond mere survival in the longer term if they opt for more caring practices that can help overcome inequality instead of pursuing short term profits.
With this philosophy in mind, Liberty has committed to donate a meal to SA Harvest for every policy facilitated by Liberty Financial Advisers over the next 10 weeks, starting on 1 October to 10 December.
“We know that we’re able to hit our 30 000-meal target, but we want our advisers to know that the work they do is not only about financial security for their clients and their dependants, but in these incredibly tough times can now go much further. We want them to remember they’re making an impact where it matters most – people’s lives,” says Minnie.
Recently a report highlighted that in some households, on average, every worker supports about 15 people in their family. “This highlights a real need in our country – and through this programme, we can make a direct, immediate difference in the lives of the people suffering from the most important hierarchy of needs, food,” he says.
For Gidon Novick, Chairman of SA Harvest, the Meals For Deals initiative is the kind of CSI project that more corporate entities should consider.
“Making sure that South Africans don’t go hungry is so important, so we were so glad that Liberty brought us into this initiative – it’s a privilege to be a part of it,” says Novick.
SA Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in South Africa, and the organisation does this by addressing systemic causes of hunger through leveraging appropriate technology and simultaneously rescuing nutritious food and delivering it where it’s needed most.
The Meals for Deals project is part of Liberty’s ongoing efforts to #DriveHope in such difficult times. In 2020, Liberty launched #DriveHope, that has already helped South Africans across the country of all ages. The platform functions on a nomination basis, where anyone can contact Liberty and nominate friends, family or members of their community in need. Earlier this year, Liberty reported that it had already assisted more than 5000 nominees, through financial assistance, care-packages, food parcels, school supplies and other essentials through the system of ‘random acts of kindness’.
More than R1 million has already been put into #DriveHope – with 12% of that being given to schools and other educational institutions for Liberty’s Back-to-School initiatives.