As part of student social responsibility, the Department of Food and Nutrition, first year and Advance Diploma students, teamed up with Food Forward SA to host a food drive at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
Established in 2009 to address widespread hunger in South Africa, Food Forward SA connects a world of excess to a world of need by recovering quality edible surplus food from the consumer goods supply chain and distributing it to community organisations that serve the poor. More than 80% of the food recovered is nutritious food.
Their vision is to reduce hunger in South Africa by safely and cost-effectively securing quality food, and making it available to those who need it.
Speaking more on the food drive, Dr Ashika Naicker from the Department of Food and Nutrition Consumer Sciences, said that the food drive is one of the initiatives in the department of Food and Nutrition Consumer Sciences where they encourage their students to take action and impact on society in a transformative way, developing engaged and adaptive graduates. She relayed that students have taken full responsibility in the marketing, distribution of drop boxes and collection of food right up to hand over to Food Forward SA under the mentorship of staff.
She further said that thus far they have collected non-perishable foods; maize meal, a range of canned foods, lentils and pulses, cereals, etc.
For first-year Food and Nutrition student, Shannon Pillay, becoming involved in the Food Forward SA food drive is all about giving to others, which she thoroughly enjoys doing in her spare time. She also became actively involved through her senior lecturer Dr Naicker, who had involved all first-year and Advanced Diploma students.
“I AM DUT and together WE ARE DUT… Our Envision 2030, speaks of being creative and productive students, which I am. I sometimes like doing things differently and taking risks but to achieve a positive end result. In this particular food drive, I approached a few close family members, friends and immediate neighbours to help me as I knew that many staff in the faculties are currently still working remotely and I wanted to ensure that our Department Food and Nutrition would reach their target and be able to provide something promising to the communities that they are going to visit,” said Pillay.
By participating in the Food Forward SA food drive initiative, it has brought her much joy as she thoroughly enjoys helping others, the poor and vulnerable in communities during this festive season.
“This initiative gives me a sense of satisfaction, purpose as well as showing my compassion towards the greater community during these trying times. I know that with all the contributions, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, many families will have been blessed this season as they will not go hungry. There are also so many food drives at the moment, especially with this pandemic and the upcoming festive season, I would like to therefore encourage everyone to spread the love and also donate towards the Food Forward SA – Food Drive. I AM DUT … TOGETHER WE ARE DUT,” she said proudly.
Dr Naicker further indicated that they are hoping that they can collect enough food to provide at least 1000 children with one meal over this festive season.
“Drop boxes are located at Steve Biko, Ritson and ML Sultan campuses; at departmental secretaries’ offices and at the libraries,” she said.
Pictured: First-year Food and Nutrition student, Shannon Pillay urges the DUT community to donate to the food drive.