Teachers get moving to raise funds for food

Nicola Barrett swam 18km in her garden pool.

Teachers at Reddam House Constantia took part in a running, cycling and swimming marathon in their backyards to raise money for food donations in Westlake.

Food Angels is a community initiative established during the Covid-19 lockdown to support Westlake Village residents with food.

Volunteers collect maize meal, bread, milk, canned foods, fruits and vegetables and soup and then donate them in partnership with NPO Parkscape.

Reddam House teacher Jane Johns saw the collection appeal on social media and decided to take action. “Members of our Reddam House team live in Westlake, so I jumped at the opportunity to support this initiative,” said Ms
Johns.

She worked with Janine Binneman, parent of one of the pupils she teaches.

This founding team established a donation drive for Food Angels.

Initially, Ms Johns sought donations by running 90km at home.

She was soon joined by other Reddam House teachers, Nicola Barrett (who swam 18km in her
garden pool) and Duane Stacey (who cycled 180km on a stationary bike).

Then more teachers joined, and pupils and their parents, running and swimming at home and making sandwiches for the families of Westlake.

A virtual meeting room was set up for the community to watch the action live, from 4am on Freedom Day, Monday April 27.

Friends, family and Reddam alumni logged in to cheer on their teachers and peers.

“We are so thankful for the wonderful spirit of the community – everybody got behind the challenge and the Food Angels with such enthusiasm.

“We did not have an easy day, but the encouragement we received kept us all going,” said Ms Johns.

Alex Gitlin, head of Reddam House College, said: “I am immensely grateful to the Reddam community who got behind this initiative. It is wonderful to see how we have helped others, and, in giving back and sharing time together, how we have raised our own spirits in a time of considerable change and challenge.”

Debbie Lightfoot, founder member of Food Angels, praised the school’s efforts.

“Reddam teachers really rose to the occasion.”

Ms Lightfoot said the money collected was being used to buy food, including soup ingredients.

“We are trying to help feed as many as possible as the situation is desperate in the Westlake community.”

Stephen Kopakopa Mwasili, chairman of St Andrews Anglican Church in Westlake, said that on Monday May 11, Food Angels had donated 60 parcels of food to Westlake families who were not getting food from any other organisation.

He said he had helped to
direct the organisation to people who were not receiving any state grants or unemployment benefits.

“I would like to thank our well wishers for the help that has reached us,” Mr Mwasili said.

“The way they packed the parcels, it was awesome because it made life easy and quick to distribute so people did not have to gather in one place for a long time.

“There was a great change on people’s faces. Thank you!”

Visit Food Angels on Facebook to see videos of the challenge.