Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa hosted “Meals in Memory,” a large-scale two-city volunteer meal packaging event to celebrate the ideals of Nelson Mandela on July 18, 2014. Volunteers across South Africa and the world celebrated by taking just 67 minutes out of their day to do a good deed for their community. Meals in Memory saw local celebrities and more than 5,000 volunteers in Johannesburg and Cape Town package 848,681 meals in 67-minute shifts.
Graça Machel, widow of the beloved icon who inspired this day of reaching out to those less fortunate, gave the opening address at the Sandton Convention Centre. She then joined enthusiastic volunteers to package 638,826 of the day’s total meals.
“Wherever Madiba is today, you can be sure he is smiling,” said Machel.
Among the thousands of volunteers who pitched in were Madiba’s great-grandson Luvuyo Mandela and South African rugby star Pierre Spies, as well as Gert-Johan Coetzee, Joelle Kayembe, Benny Masekwameng, Kerry McGregor, Zuraida Jardine, Louise Carver, Chad Saaiman, Jacques Terreblanche, Bonang Matheba, Tamerin Jardine, Tshepo Mogale and Kuli Roberts.
“At Sandton alone, we packaged double the meals we did at last year’s Mandela Day event, so I cannot begin to say how proud I am of everyone who participated,: said Says CEO Barry Mey, CEO fo Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa. “There is no doubt in my mind that Madiba would be proud of our efforts to destroy child hunger in South Africa in our lifetime.”
At Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town, 162,432 meals were packaged, with another 18,727 meals tallied at the East Rand Mall; 18,144 meals at Deutsche Bank; and another 15,552 packaged with General Motors . Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, whose mission is to get nutritional meals to young children at Early Childhood Development Centres that receive no government funding, was thrilled with the results of the meal-packaging drive.