As part of its Corporate social investment, volunteers at Bytes Document Solutions, authorised Xerox distributor to 26 African countries, have packed 15 000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, the international hunger relief organisation, and donated their allocated year-end celebration fund to the same cause. The volunteers were divided into teams of 20 people each, who weighed rice, soya, reconstituted vegetables and vitamins into portions and then placed each into bags.
We had such an overwhelming response that we were unable to accommodate all of our volunteers and so had to accept them on a first come, first served basis, said Hennie Du Plessis, CEO of Bytes Document Solutions. Corporate social investment is not just about donating money to worthy causes but about becoming actively involved and participating in our greater communities.
Stop Hunger Now coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. Core to Stop Hunger Now’s feeding efforts is transformation through education, said Don Bowler, Gauteng coordinator at Stop Hunger Now. Most of our meals are distributed to learners under the age of 18 in schools, day-care facilities, creches and other educational settings.
Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging programme is a volunteer-based effort through which participants package high-protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations. Through an assembly line process, a team of 40 volunteers can package 10 000 meals in two hours. Meal packaging events are conducted by volunteer groups of all ages from business, faith-based organisations, schools and other community organisations.
It is a welcome opportunity for us to be involved in fostering the development of future generations of South Africans, particularly for children in the critical early developmental phases of their lives, said Du Plessis. Because Stop Hunger Now places particular emphasis on children aged 0 to 6 and lunch programmes at early childhood development centres, we are helping to ensure the health and prosperity of these children and also the nation.
Our outcomes-based feeding programmes are an ideal opportunity for corporations like Bytes Document Solutions to become a part of connecting resourced companies to under-resourced communities and the packaging events are an important educational and social event that fosters greater awareness and crucially participation in meeting the challenges of hunger in southern Africa, said Bowler.