Durbanites have packed over 69 000 meal packs for vulnerable learners as part of this week’s Mandela Day celebrations. International hunger relief organisation, Rise Against Hunger, and Sun International; have brought together hundreds of volunteers to pack nutritious staple ingredients like rice and vitamins.

The drive is part of a nationwide goal of providing 3 million meal packs to disadvantaged learners.
Rise against Hunger’s, Kim Carrington, says the initiative is a step to ending hunger worldwide by 2030.

“We distribute these meals to early childhood development centres where there are vulnerable kids. Each box of meals creates a cost saving between R150-R200. We set goals such as infrastructure, improving their sanitation, their skills. If each person could do a little bit and give them time, we can make an impact in society and I think that’s what motivates us; living up to that icon’s dream.”

Many companies took time away from the office to lend a helping hand. Some volunteers spoke about Madiba’s inspiration.

“Nelson Mandela was a phenomenal man. He taught all of us as South Africans that we need to forgive and love each other unconditionally. That is why we are here as a company. To this day, we are free and even able to give to others the freedom we have, we have earned through his sacrifices. You know Nelson Mandela is and was just the most incredible man and his legacy will forever live on. This is paying it forward and changing a child’s life. Children were the most important thing to him. And no matter who you are where you live, you are deserving of love, compassion and hope.”