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Penny Appeal SA will be launching a new outreach pilot project on 4 April this year, focusing on feeding the destitute and most vulnerable on the streets. The initiative falls under the Penny Appeal  Feed Our World project and takes shape in the form of a mobile food trailer that will be distributing hot nutritional meals to those in need with the help of public donors.

Public donors will be able to buy tokens at the Penny Appeal SA offices, and other central outlets for as little as R20 each or R600 for a month-long supply of essential food items. The token/s can then be handed out to the needy, who will, in turn, present the tokens at the food trailer feeding sites where they will be provided with a hearty warm meal. The one-meal token will be orange in colour and the month voucher token will be white to distinguish between the types. The tokens will be made out of eco-friendly materials to align with Penny Appeal SA’s attempt to be more considerate of the environment, and are 100% recyclable within the project scope.

Feed Our World: Meals4Change Food Trailer

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Donation Total: R20 One Time

The idea was born when the Penny Appeal team noted the drastic increase in the of homeless people increasing on the streets of Durban and surrounding areas, and witnessing people sleep in the streets, under bridges and on bridges such as the Greyville Bridge. It raised concerns as to where these poverty-stricken people get their meal from each day and how the team could help them get a basic meal to sustain them. 

Being very aware of the challenge motorists faced when handing out cash at intersections and traffic lights, the idea of a guaranteed meal was born. One such homeless man, Sizwe Dlamini, says, “I have a child to feed too, I need to know I can get a meal.”

The food trailer was developed to try to ease the effects of poverty and help those in need. “The project aims to address poverty through fulfilling a basic human need [food],” Shahnaaz Paruk, CEO of Penny Appeal SA, says. She added: “In true Penny Appeal philosophy, we believe it’s the small changes which make big differences. We’re placing the power of giving back with the donor, so they can hand over a token, knowing full well that the money will not be smoked, sold or misused – except for a hot meal.”

The food trailer will initially operate in areas around Durban for now, with the intention to expand to other cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town, at a later stage should efforts be successful.

As a project, Meals4Change attempts to not only feed the poor, but also give the public the opportunity to exchange their money for an assured meal instead of just giving their money straight to the homeless and not being sure if they will be able to get their meal in the end.

This exciting new project holds great promise to the homeless as well as donors who are able to provide those less fortunate with food security. The food trailer will be ready prior to Ramadan season as part of the charity’s on-going initiative ‘Feed Our World’ project run by Penny Appeal globally. The project has an aim to provide both hot meals and food packages as well as a more sustainable solution for those facing food insecurity.