Most vulnerable get fed

Zaida Samuels cutting onions

A Rondebosch East woman started her own feeding scheme a month ago to help the most vulnerable in her community during the Covid-19 crisis.

Zaida Samuels’s scheme, Still Here Fighting Hunger, relies on the support of donors and her neighbours to feed the needy in the Flamingo Heights informal settlement in Lansdowne, Vygieskraal, the Wood Road informal settlement in Belgravia and Goodwood.

“Over a month ago, I was blessed with a triple-burner cooking plate and two 10-litre pots from an anonymous donor who left it outside my home,” she said.

Ms Samuels also works with the One Billion Rising SA organisation two to three times a week. It serves 2 300 meals daily in Lavender Hill.

She makes all the food for her feeding scheme at her home, helped by Patricia Olyn from Philippi and Virginia Madita from Samora Machel.

“In the beginning, I found it hard as I had to pay for the food out of my own pocket, though today I get many food donations and cash donations to carry out this initiative.”

She started feeding about 70 people a day. Now that number has grown to 250.

She makes lamb and chicken akni, pasta with fish or mince, soup, dhal and rice with boiled eggs, chicken curry.

“We dish food to people that we would eat ourselves.”

During Eid she made 90 party packs for children, with cupcakes, lollipops, chips, chocolates and chocolate milk.

She distributes the food with the help of her neighbours, brothers David and Mike Barrows, and her husband, Ganief Samuels.

Ms Olyn said it saddened her to see children in poor communities going hungry.

“I enjoy helping Zaida to provide food for people who don’t have food.”

One Billion Rising SA coordinator Lucinda Evans – whom Ms Samuels credits with showing her the ropes – said Ms Samuels had helped her organisation since lockdown started.

“We are proud that she could take what she learnt from the Lavender Hill feeding schemes to help the most vulnerable people near her community.”

Contact Ms Samuels at 074 647 1513 or zaidasamuels62@gmail.com to help.