Rhodes University: International Office launches food drive to raise awareness about nutrition in Africa

As part of Africa Month this May, the Rhodes University International Office has been hosting several activities during its International Week, running from 22 to 28 May. The Office has been raising awareness about nutrition and food security, the African Union’s theme for 2022, through a Makhanda-wide collaborative food drive.

Africa Month commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which has since become the African Union (AU).

“2022 is the year of nutrition: Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition & Food security on the African Continent.” – African Union

“Food security is an increasing concern for our local community here in Makhanda. Dr. Lausanne Olvitt, from the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), advised that in 2019, there were eight active community kitchens in Makhanda. This number has increased to more than 25 community kitchens, all struggling to support hungry people in their neighbourhoods,” explained Orla Quinlan, Director of Internationalisation at Rhodes University.

Connecting the continental theme of ‘nutrition’ with the national rise of food insecurity, the International Office and the Environmental Learning Centre (ELRC), in collaboration with the Makhanda Circle of Unity, have embarked on a food drive to support local initiatives to ensure children receive adequate nutrition.

The Food Drive was launched on Africa Day (25 May) and will continue for the rest of the month (see collection points below).

Makhanda’s community kitchens are:

Informal kitchens providing free basic meals without prejudice to people in need.
Run mainly by women often living in poverty themselves, who refuse to let children and impoverished people in their neighbourhoods go hungry.
Dependent on volunteers and donations of food and money
Primarily supporting children under 14 years.
In South Africa, the Household Affordability Index tracks monthly food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Springbok. Some of the alarming recent findings include:

The ‘food basket’ is based on food that women living in a seven-member household typically try to secure each month.
There was a staggering 38% increase in typical South Afric

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