South Africa began a 21-day lockdown on Friday 27 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This dramatic and yet critical step will have a very significant impact on our country as a whole; the most vulnerable in our society will be deeply affected by such a standstill in operations especially on the food security of a majority of the country including those within or connected to our parish family.
It has been encouraging to hear how the churches in St John's Parish have responded to their immediate community through acts of love and mercy. As the PLT we want to initiate a Parish response that could have a bigger impact through the pooling of resources and our relational capital. A task team representing each church within the Parish was initiated to pray, discern and find ways to collaborate. After our first meeting, it was decided that as a first step we would be partnering with The Warehouse in running a food voucher campaign starting on Sunday the 12th April (Easter Sunday).
The Warehouse in collaboration with the RESPOND network has developed a solution to the food security crisis that sends vouchers via SMS to beneficiaries identified by within the Parish. These vouchers can be used at any Shoprite, PicknPay, Usave, Checkers or Boxer store, in full or in part, to purchase food and other essential items. With operational costs funded by The Warehouse and the vendor this solution is extremely cost-effective with 99% of funds getting directly to the beneficiary.