Feeding The Hungry
If we are to hope for an equal future for all and end a vicious cycle of poverty, then access to healthy, affordable food and quality nutritional care is vital. But, such access is hindered by deeper inequities arising from unjust systems and processes that are part of daily life. Inequities in food and health systems exacerbate inequalities in nutrition outcomes, this, in turn, can lead to further inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
Operation Hunger, founded in 1978 to address malnutrition in South Africa, has witnessed first-hand the impact of malnutrition on the vulnerable in society. With an intimate understanding of the toll and anguish malnutrition has on the nations, the organisation has developed a pro-equity systematic model that responds holistically to Unicef’s Conceptual Framework Determinants Malnutrition, prioritising undernutrition, especially to women and children. In line with WHO standards, Operation Hunger continues to champion the nutritional development of all South Africans. The organisation reaches over 2.4 million families annually through its sustainable projects, developed to meet the immediate and long-term nutritional needs of vulnerable communities.
However, the need for more equitable, resilient and sustainable food and health systems to address hunger is becoming increasingly urgent, especially during the current pandemic. Millions of people do not have enough to eat. Salary cuts and job losses continue to negatively affect the purchasing power of households.
Focusing on nutritional wellbeing provides opportunities for establishing synergies between public health and equity. Operation Hunger’s 42-year effort to address South Africa’s nutritional crisis is centred on redressing inequality in food and health systems, aimed at ending malnutrition in all its forms. This requires strengthened co-ordination, alignment, financing and accountability.
As the disruption to healthcare and the food chain as well as people’s livelihoods continues, due to the pandemic, social protection systems must be amplified.
About Sandy Bukula
Sandy Bukula has a strong sense of community development and empowerment nurtured in her youth while participating in community development and feeding programmes.
Working at Operation Hunger aligns with her values. Her passion for the empowerment of all who call South Africa home is amplified at Operation Hunger.
The NPO provides her with a scalable solution that has a tangible and measurable platform. This enables her to make full use of her MBA in Sustainable Development. Through the donors, support of the board and colleagues, Bukula’s confidence in Operation Hunger’s ability to change the nutritional status of South Africa is unwavering.