Yesterday, Western Cape Department of Agriculture's research dairy farms in Stellenbosch and George donated milk to the Milk Producers Organisation for further distribution amongst vulnerable communities in the Western Cape.
Speaking at the handover, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, highlighted the impact that Covid-19 has had on the poor.
Minister Meyer: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society. No person or family should ever go hungry. We need to work together to ensure that everyone in the Western Cape has access to safe and healthy food. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s donation demonstrates our commitment to building a healthy society through the consumption of a nutritious, affordable and accessible source of food.”
Accepting the milk on behalf of the Milk Producers Organisation Philip Blanckenberg highlighted that milk producers had committed 1% of their daily production to the vulnerable.
Blanckenberg: "There is much goodwill amongst milk producers. The donation sets the example of how government and the private sector work together. The common goal is to provide the vulnerable with access to nutritious milk that strengthens one's immunity and gives access to greater food security."
With the support of the milk processors Nestlé and Lactalis (formerly known as Parmalat) the donated milk will be processed and packaged.
The milk will be distributed to vulnerable communities free of charge via two NGO's, Life Community Services (George) and Shiloh Community in Action (Cape Town).
Estelle Veldman of Shiloh Community in Action which provides 2000-3000 hot meals daily to thirty-three community organizations expressed her gratitude to the Department and the Milk Producers Organisation.
Veldman: “Shiloh Community in Action is the link between the hearts, those who give, and the most vulnerable, those who receive. Without the support of the Western Cape Government and the Milk Producers Organisation, we will be unable to provide a nutritious meal to those who cannot fend for themselves.”
Minister Meyer concluded by highlighting that humanitarian support and relief is one of the pillars of the Western Cape Government’s Covid-19 Hotspot strategy.
“I am deeply thankful to the Milk Producers Organisation for encouraging milk producers to donate 1% of their production. By doing so, they are not only supporting the government's humanitarian relief initiatives but also laying the basis to kickstart the recovery of our economy. We do so #ForTheLoveOfAgriculture”: said Meyer.