October 1st will mark the start of World Hunger Month. Yes, a whole month to focus on hunger. In my opinion 1 month is not enough, yo! Did you know that over 11 million South Africans do not have access to proper nutrition and go to bed hungry every night? The saddest thing is that 3.1 million of these are kids. I was shocked to learn that hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. Woah, that’s a scary way of looking at it. I mean, AIDS, not so easy to fix. Hunger, we can fix. Why are we not fixing it?
Suddenly our food selfies seem pretty lame in comparison to the fact that someone, somewhere, has not had anything to eat for days. We need to make a change. We need to BE the change. Well, that’s what KFC thought too, and that’s how their Add Hope campaign was born. The Add Hope vision is now in its 7th year and aims to feed more than 110 000 children every day across the country. Add Hope partners with over 110 beneficiary organisations and to date has raised over 372 million rand to feed hungry children in South Africa.
On Wednesday a bunch of us joined the KFC Add Hope team as they visited the Oosterland Youth Centre in Despatch to show a little love and add a little hope, one smile at a time. The day started with an introduction to the centre and all the wonderful work that they do. Oosterland houses 106 kids, ranging from newborns to 18 year olds. We were then treated to a mini concert of sorts, as the Oosterland toddlers sang and danced for us. I must admit, both Hubstopher (Groove Station) and I got extremely emotional – some of these kids are the same age as our children.
Our tour took us to one of the group homes, on site, where we helped the house mother prepare lunch. No, I did not learn how to make KFC. The children are actually fed 3 nutritious meals per day, which includes fresh fruit and vegetables. The excited KFC staff members spent a large part of their day painting the playground’s jungle gym. I
watched supervised. BUT I did get my hands dirty when we visited the on-site greenhouse where we harvested tomatoes and green peppers. The greenhouse is one of the centres many, admirable, sustainability projects.
This unforgettable experience has shown me just how much need there is in the world! We can make a difference! How? Google the nearest safe house/shelter in your area and try to commit to giving of your time and finances. Or you could simply ADD HOPE the next time you purchase a meal at KFC, by adding R2 to your bill total. Add Hope sits on KFC’s menu board all year round and allows customers to add R2 to feed a child.
Don’t think your R2 can make a difference?
Well, get this: Because of the support of thousands of Add Hope R2’s, the campaign is able to feed more than 5000 classrooms full of children per day. That’s hope for more than 1000 soccer teams. That’s hope for more than a stadium full of people. Your R2 is a pretty big deal.