South Africa’s fastest-growing food rescue organisation, SA Harvest, is continuing its rapid expansion in its mission to end hunger in South Africa. The NPO, which launched in October 2019, has taken occupation of dedicated warehouse space in Johannesburg and Durban. This increases SA Harvest’s capacity to achieve its target of delivering 15 million meals in the next 12 months.
The exponential growth of this young organisation, sister to OzHarvest in Australia and operating under the chairmanship of airline entrepreneur Gidon Novick, comes in response to the unprecedented increase in food insecurity in South Africa. Prior to lockdown it was estimated that 13 million people were going hungry daily. Today, with unemployment reaching 32,6%, the number has increased to around 20 million people experiencing hunger every day.
“Ending Hunger in our country requires both practical and sustainable solutions in a collaborative framework. SA Harvest is working with many organisations and corporates that understand that while charitable food donations are critical at this time, ending hunger also requires intervention in a system that causes hunger in the first place,” says Alan Browde, founder and CEO of SA Harvest.
In the last 22 months, SA Harvest has rescued over 1,9 tonnes of food and delivered the equivalent of 6,2 million meals to food vulnerable communities across South Africa. SA Harvest’s fleet has expanded to five refrigerated vehicles, with access to additional vehicles through partnerships with logistics companies. The NPO now employs a staff of 28 people.
SA Harvest’s 380m² Durban warehouse in Briardene, together with a refrigerated 4 tonne truck and logistics solutions with outsourced transporters and staff of seven enables the delivery of an average of 12 500 meals per week to beneficiary organisations, extending from Richards Bay in the north to Umlazi on the south coast to Hammersdale near Pietermaritzburg.
In Johannesburg, SA Harvest’s move into a dedicated warehouse in Eastgate, Sandton, increases its capacity to 40 tonnes per week. The region is headed up by operations manager Victor Mpofu, who, working with a team of six staff, delivers in excess of 65 200 meals per week to its beneficiary organisations.
The NPO’s Cape Town operations are well established, operating from a base in Epping. With a capacity to handle 45 tonnes per week, the Cape distribution centre currently delivers 32 600 meals every week, with a staff of four under operations manager Lane Ridgway.
SA Harvest’s reach extends from inner city to townships to rural areas. In addition to its three main centres of operation, the organisation has satellite networks in Mpumalanga, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. “The next phase of our expansion will be the establishment of a warehouse in the Eastern Cape,” says Ozzy Nel, COO of SA Harvest.