Woodstock helpers step up

Golden Anchor Solid Rock Foundation team member, Khanyisani Muthanda, job seeker Maxwell Mazwayi and organisation founder Gerald Louw.

A Woodstock organisation that feeds the homeless has stepped up operations to help vulnerable groups affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gerald Louw founded the Golden Anchor Solid Rock Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation, in 2019 to help the street dwellers and waste pickers who often search for food on weekends when the scrapyards are closed.

The organisation has also started feeding children and job seekers daily during the pandemic.

“When lockdown kicked in, we realised we would have to step up our operations as there were many hungry people. Our volunteer work was also affected by the pandemic and we decided to deliver meals daily,” Mr Louw said.

They hand out soup daily at the Salt River circle, the stables and Observatory Park; on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, they focus on children at the stables and in Woodstock; and on Sundays they also hand out food at the Salt River circle and the bridge.

Mr Louw also delivers food parcels to the vulnerable in Salt River, Woodstock and Walmer Estate.

Hester Berg, from Woodstock Community Action Network (CAN), said they were working with Mr Louw to make the initiative more sustainable.

Maxwell Mazwayi comes to Salt River circle daily in search of work. With the easing of restrictions, he is back at the circle but work has been slow. He said he was grateful to the organisation who daily gave him a meal and something to take home.

“They are here every day, making sure we have something in our tummies,” he said.

Yusef Louw, has been staying behind the butchery in Woodstock with others for more than a year and said lockdown had been tough for them as very few organisations knew of them.

“The butchery would help us out occasionally, but we are thankful for the organisation for coming around everyday, we appreciate it,” he said.