The Pebbles Kitchen, a division of the Pebbles Project, which works to improve the lives of children in the Western Cape farming communities, reached a milestone this week of one million meals served in eight months of lockdown by their emergency feeding scheme.
What does it take to make 1 million meals? Just over 91 tons of vegetables, many tons of other ingredients and, most importantly, a dedicated, passionate small team that provided relief to thousands of families, and continues to do so.
The organisation quadrupled its daily meal provision since 1 April as unemployment rose and hunger intensified under lockdown, said Dominic Johnson-Allen, Consultant for the Pebbles Kitchen on Klein Joostenberg farm in Stellenbosch.
“Before lockdown, we were already providing 1300 meals daily for disadvantaged children in education centres within agricultural communities of the Western Cape, but the need escalated exponentially due to the lockdown. We are located in the middle of a busy farming area, where many casual workers immediately lost their jobs and their weekly pay.”
“We simply could not ignore the plight of those in desperate need of food and therefore ramped up our scale and distribution points. In addition, we supported NGOs who have been struggling to provide food for the many with absolutely no income and no food, turning our kitchen into a meal provider for thousands.”
The Pebbles Project, established in 2004, provides support and intervention in the areas of education, health, nutrition, community services and social protection to around 1400 children in the areas of Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Wellington, Citrusdal and the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus, and since the agricultural industry was one of the hardest hit as a result of the lockdown, the team intensified their reach and support.