Our first food parcel drop off (and first time out of town in 5 weeks!)
30th April 2020
Nourish Deliveries: First time out of town in 5 weeks.
By Jonty Bozas
Upon waking up today I couldn’t believe that it was only 13 days ago that this idea first came into my mind and yet, here I am, already preparing myself to go out and help deliver food parcels. The last two weeks became a blur of staring at a computer screen for hours, setting up the website, sending emails and making phone calls trying to get a team together and put this idea in motion. Being a guide by profession, sitting behind a computer for 13 hours plus every day is something very foreign to me. I must admit that I found myself wishing I had paid more attention in my IT classes at school. Even the most simple of tasks like putting together an excel spreadsheet had me huffing and puffing like a buffalo trying to protect itself against marauding lions.
In spite of the many challenges and late nights, we made it! Huge thanks to everyone who purchased images after our launch on Saturday the 25th of April. As a direct result of those purchases, we have been able to send $1100 to Nourish that contributed to the food parcels they have been putting together.
As I am driving along the road - on my way to hand these food parcels out to some of the struggling families in our local community, I am abounding with happiness. I am getting of the house for the first time in five weeks and I get to go and give food to families in need. A sense of freedom envelopes me as the open road lies ahead. I’m quite glad no one is with me in the car because I have a big, stupid grin on my face. Flashing lights ahead pull me out of my day dream as a road block appears into sight; the Covid-19 pandemic is still real and the restrictions are still very much in place. “Where are you going?” the officer asks and I respond very proudly that I’m going to help deliver food parcels to the community with Nourish. Luckily, I have a permit from Sarah at Nourish that proves I am going to help them. The officer commends us for our great work and waves me off. I drive on and fall back into my big grinning daydream all the way to the Nourish eco village.
I arrive and the team is finishing up loading food parcels on to the back of a pick-up truck. Daisy, the resident donkey, is eager to help and is sniffing all the parcels. After greeting Daisy and giving her an apple or two to thank her for her support, I help load the final parcels and we are on our way.
As we arrive at the first house some of the children run out shouting “Nourish is here!”. I instantly feel so proud to be helping such a great initiative that has already been doing so much good, even before the lock down started. The children gather around the vehicle and we start getting the parcels down for them. We hand the parcels over and exchange friendly greetings and then carry on to the next family. And so, the process of handing out food parcels continues. What very soon hits me like a ton of bricks, is exactly how monumental a task this is. For every family that we are delivering food to, there are at least five more asking for help. Martin takes down their details and they go on the list for next food run if funds allow it. It is heart breaking to think that we might not be able to help these extra families. Regardless of the hardships we are facing, humankind will prevail and all we can do is continue handing out parcels and continue drumming up support for Photos For Food so that we can keep chipping away at the massive mountain that is hunger in South Africa.
In an amazing show of kindness and a heart far beyond his years, a young boy - maybe only 10 years of age - takes some of the oranges from his parcel and runs over to give them to a granny who had just put her name down on the list for next food delivery. I find tears welling up in my eyes, which is not something that happens very often and at the same time my heart is smiling at the incredible generosity of those who have so little. It is amazing to be surrounded by so many kind souls and beautiful stories brought to light in these dark times. Sometimes we just need the world to slow down in order to see them.
After watching this little boy help a complete stranger, another story comes to mind. This is about a great man by the name of Bruce Lawson who lives in Hoedspruit. He, a fellow colleague and friend walked a distance of 150km over three days around their houses to raise money for a project in our town. It really is in times like these that we see some amazing acts of kindness and selflessness. South Africa really is like one big family with so many trying to do their small part to help.
Seven hours we spent together, handing out parcels and meeting more families and individuals that came out to talk to us and find out more about what we are doing. I can’t wait to be back out again helping the team to hand out more parcels. I must be honest, if I think back to when I was a child and I would complain about not wanting to eat my vegetables or moaning about what spread of food had been put on my plate, I feel an incredible pang of guilt but also a massive appreciation for how privileged a life I have led. We all have been living far beyond our means and that is something I will personally be changing after this lockdown. If that is the only thing I take away from being house bound for five weeks, then that is great. However, I know that I have learnt so much more.
My brain has been working in over-drive since Thursday and my trip into the community because instead of the warm fuzzy feeling I imagined I would have after doing something good, all that I can think about is the enormity of the task at hand. I feel dreadfully sad for all those people who don’t even know when they will have their next meal. This is a frightening reality and starvation in this country is ongoing. Only through the incredible people who work at organisations like Nourish and the amazing people that have supported Photos For Food can we try and make a difference one food parcel at a time.
Please keep supporting us and remember:
“If you can’t feed 100 people, then just feed one” - Mother Teresa