CAN groups team up to reach out to the needy

Constantia Can handed out 90 beanies and 67 raincoats to young people at Makhukanye Art Room in Khayelitsha Site B.
Two communities from different ends of Cape Town have united during lockdown to feed the needy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the loss of jobs, breadwinners facing pay cuts and families struggling to make ends meet.

The Community Action Network (CAN) groups in Khayelitsha Site B and Constantia have partnered to provide meals to the needy during lockdown.

The Can project started at the beginning of lockdown through the Cape Town Together Facebook page, which encouraged ordinary people to respond to the pandemic by seeing to the non-medical needs of vulnerable people in their communities.

There are now more than 150 Can groups across Cape Town. They organise themselves and collect food and donations for the needy.

Better-off communities are helping poorer ones, which is why Constantia Can has partnered with Khayelitsha Site B Can. Many of the 250 000-odd residents of Khayelitsha Site B need food relief.
Between April and June, more than 340 000 meals were distributed to vulnerable families in Khayelitsha Site B.

Khanyisa Vedala, of Khayelitsha Site B Can, said he had seen in March that his community would need help.

“That is when I started to ask for help on behalf of people from Site B Khayelitsha, because of increasing social issues which affect our society as a whole. Soup kitchens and food parcel distribution was the plan to make sure that everyone benefits from the limited resources we get from people who have the heart to help.”

The number of soup kitchens supported by Constantia Can grew throughout lockdown to 25, and 21 of those are in Khayelitsha Site B.

The remaining four are in Steenberg, Retreat, Westlake and Constantia.