In commemoration of Mandela Day which highlights the plight of food security, the GE Foundation has announced a donation of US$100,000 to support relief efforts in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal region, where nearly 125,000 civilians have been displaced following disastrous flooding due to heavy rainfall sustained in April.
The donation funded FoodForward SA, the largest food redistribution organization in South Africa, and provided an estimated 4,800 people in the flood zones with one meal per day for three weeks. In addition to the organization’s donation, GE employees can support relief efforts through the Matching Gifts Program.
“We are proud to once again work with FoodForward SA and help South African families in the region continue the road to recovery,” said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President, GE.
“South Africa hosts GE’s largest employee base on the continent and has become a key partner in GE Foundation programs such as Next Engineers. Addressing hunger is critical in the wake of the recent flooding and I’m proud that the GE family is supporting our country in this time of need,” said Nyimpini Mabunda, President of GE Southern Africa. “FoodForward SA’s mission is to reduce hunger in South Africa by safely and cost-effectively securing quality food, and this grant funding will support the food procurement efforts and preparation needed for the impacted area.”
GE employees who make eligible donations to FoodForward SA or other participating charities can register for a match with the GE Foundation’s Matching Gifts program, which supports employees’ personal philanthropy and charitable giving by providing a 1:1 match. The GE Foundation created the concept of a corporate matching gift program in 1954. Today, the program continues to serve as an important element of the Foundation’s portfolio, with gifts matched in 2021 totaling $6.2 million.
FoodForward SA is an important GE Foundation partner. In 2021, the GE Foundation donated US$100,000 to provide immediate relief to South Africa’s communities experiencing food insecurity due to the ongoing economic and social challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director at FoodForward SA says, “We are honored to receive this grant from the GE Foundation, which will help us address the immediate need for hunger relief in the KwaZulu-Natal region. Corporate and individual partners such as the GE Foundation are key for us to support cost-effective solutions to combat hunger in underserved communities and strengthen our efforts to provide impactful change.”
GE’s Disaster and Humanitarian Relief program respond to major global disasters and humanitarian crises, drawing on GE’s people, technology, and other resources to reduce suffering and hasten recovery. In 2021, the GE Foundation’s philanthropic contribution to disaster relief totaled $2 million, which continued to support the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and fund support for disaster and humanitarian crises worldwide.
Recently, GE and the GE Foundation donated US$4.5 million in medical equipment and humanitarian relief to support Ukraine and neighboring countries impacted by the war – available in GE’s press room. GE remains committed to preparing for and responding to future natural disasters and humanitarian crises, diligently maximizing the impact of our financial, technological, and human resources.