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Pick n Pay & FoodForward SA launch the 2018 Mandela Day Food Drive

| Social Responsibility

The goal: Collect 250 tonnes of food over three days to provide over a million meals. This is the task ahead for Pick n Pay and FoodForward SA’s second consecutive 2018 Mandela Day Food Drive, and they are encouraging South Africans to unite together to reach this goal.

“The reality in our country today is that millions continue to go to bed hungry every day,” says Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, director of transformation at Pick n Pay. 

Thabo Koti, a FoodForward SA beneficiary at the Carpenter’s Shop in Cape Town, explains the hardship of facing a day without food, “A car can’t function without fuel, it is the same with the human body.” 

“Together we can make a difference in the lives of the many South Africans that require assistance. We are inviting our customers and suppliers to partner with us and help us provide baskets of food to those Beneficiary Organisations who can’t afford them,” says Ackerman-Berman.

Last year, the inaugural food drive donations equalled to just over half a million meals – we want to double that this year, says Ackerman-Berman. To assist in achieving this, Pick n Pay has increased the number of stores participating by 30% when compared to last year and introduced two new regions: Bloemfontein and Rustenburg.

The food drive collection weekend – running from 13 – 15 July 2018 – will see various food collection bins being placed in over 500 Pick n Pay stores across the country. “While any and all non-perishable items are welcome, we have provided 14 discounted products, in association with our suppliers. Customers are encouraged to buy any of these products and drop them in the collection bin.”

The food list items include rice, maize meal, spaghetti, samp & beans, lentils, pilchards, tuna, long life milk, oats, jam, peanut butter, cooking oil, sugar and salt.

“There will be volunteers in-store engaging with consumers and educating them about the initiative. We will also be catering for cash donations at the till points and customers can donate from as a little as R5. There is however absolutely no pressure on consumers to participate. We are more trying to inspire volunteerism – not only for this Mandela Day but for the future too,” says Ackerman-Berman. 

Food donated at more remotely located Pick n Pay stores will be distributed directly to surrounding beneficiaries. All donated goods from centrally located stores will be packed into trucks and taken to the packing event venues for sorting by volunteers on Mandela Day before they are distributed to the respective FoodForward SA beneficiaries. 

“Pick n Pay has a longstanding relationship with FoodForward SA. We’ve donated approximately 2 000 tonnes of surplus food each year for redistribution to hundreds of community organisations. This has seen the distribution of more than eight million meals a year, but much more is needed for the fight against hunger.”

The Mandela Day food donations will help FoodForward SA stock their warehouses across the country with staple foods over the winter months. 

FoodForward SA’s Managing Director, Andy Du Plessis says, “The food donations are distributed over six months, ensuring that we are able to provide our beneficiaries with a varied basket of nutritious foods."

“The generosity and support of this Mandela Day Food Drive directly benefits thousands of people but also creates much-needed awareness of the work we do. Our work is to address the problem of food insecurity in South Africa and this campaign is definitely having a big impact.”

Nelson Mandela said that the ‘greatest gift in life is the gift of giving’ and the greatest sentiment is that feeling when you’ve made someone else’s heart happy. “All South Africans have the ability to do that this Mandela Day."

“Everyone can be involved in this special campaign through the donation of time, a small cash donation or a basket of food items. All these efforts and actions add up to something really meaningful for so many of our fellow citizens in need,” concludes Ackerman-Berman.

How can you get involved in the Pick n Pay & FoodForward SA’s 2018 Mandela day food drive?

Take part in the national Mandela Day Food Drive from 13 – 15 July 2018 in any participating Pick n Pay store by: 
* Purchase a high priority non-perishable item and drop it into the branded donation box
* Volunteer your 67 minutes for Mandela and help with the collection effort in-store 
* Make a cash donation at the till point 
* Donate your Smart Shopper points to FoodForward SA by selecting "Donate points to charity" on the app or at the kiosk in-store, and selecting FoodForward SA as the beneficiary

Corporate packing event on Mandela Day, 18 July: Take part in one of the nationwide packing events to sort donated groceries into food parcels. 

For more information and to sign up to be a volunteer, please visit: or

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