To commemorate World Food Day, which is observed every October 16th, and in support of the GE Foundation’s (www.GE.com/foundation) efforts to address the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the GE Foundation announced a $100,000 USD donation to provide immediate relief to South African communities experiencing food insecurity.
The money will go to Food Forward SA (https://FoodForwardSA.org), which will offer one meal per day for a year to more than 20,000 people in the Soweto and Alexandra townships, which have been among the most hit by the pandemic. GE workers can contribute to relief efforts in addition to the company’s donation through the company’s 1:1 Matching Gifts Program.
“The GE Foundation is proud to work with Food Forward SA and support families in South Africa facing unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President, GE.
“Whilst health responses have formed the center of our COVID-19 relief efforts, we recognize that addressing immediate physiological needs such as providing stable access to food at this challenging time is equally critical in the battle against COVID-19,” said Nyimpini Mabunda, President of GE Southern Africa.
“Food Forward SA is a leader in the relief effort, and its multiprong approach to combatting food insecurity through monthly distribution to local vetted partner organizations, daily pick-up sites in local retail outlets through its FoodShare digital foodbanking programme, and mobile drop-offs in difficult-to-reach communities will provide thousands with access to food over the coming months,” he added.
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 2020 totaling $16.8 million.
Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director at FoodForward SA, says “We are grateful for the generous contribution made by the GE Foundation and look forward to growing the partnership. This donation will help us to address vulnerable beneficiaries in Soweto and Alexandra in Gauteng.
Without the support of corporate partners such as GE, FoodForward SA would not be able to reach its network of 1,200 vetted beneficiary organizations through which we collectively feed nearly 700,000 people daily.
Since the onset of the pandemic, GE in collaboration with its partners has supported communities in South Africa. To date, over R7 million worth of PPE and healthcare equipment have been donated to 8 hospitals in Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape provinces.
In addition, GE is currently constructing a community primary healthcare clinic in Botleng Ext. 6, Mpumalanga to address growing demand and to improve the community’s access to quality healthcare. Upon expected completion in 2022, the clinic will deliver a full primary healthcare service including 24-hour emergency, COVID-19 testing amongst others.
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.
Since 2020, GE Foundation’s philanthropic contribution in disaster relief totaled nearly $5.4 million, which was largely focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, GE Foundation donated $100,000 to relief efforts in Argentina and Peru, which are also experiencing a surge of COVID-19 infections. 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.