Volunteers do all they can in lockdown

There are sandwich trolleys outside Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Spar at Constantia Village.

Neighbourhood volunteers from Constantia have donated more than 100 000 meals over the past three weeks to Khayelitsha residents needing food during the Covid- 19 lockdown.

Constantia CAN (Community Action Network) was established just over three weeks ago.

The Can project started through the Cape Town Together Facebook page before the lockdown.

The page encouraged ordinary people to respond to the pandemic by seeing to the non-medical needs of vulnerable people in their communities.

There are now Can groups of volunteers in some 70 suburbs across Cape Town. They organise themselves and collect food and donations for the needy.

Better-off communities are helping poorer ones. Constantia Can has partnered with Khayelitsha Site B, where many of the 250 000-odd residents need food relief at this difficult time.

Constantia Can did its first food drop on April 10 and is now doing daily food drops to four different sites in Khayelitsha Site B, prioritising children. The Can also delivered 82 masks last week.

The Can wants to raise R1 million to feed 8 000 Site B residents for a month and it is also helping to get food to the needy in Constantia. Besides food, the Can also takes pet food, clothing, toys, soap and more.

The Constantia Can’s head of fund-raising, Jane Edge, said they had so far raised nearly half of their target amount in cash and food donations.

“We are collaborating with Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU), an NPO with an excellent track record, and we have sourced bulk food supplies from Rise Against Hunger, whose meal packages meet the nutrition standards of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Ladles of Love and other donors of bulk food supplies are also helping us.”

Constantia residents can help by buying non-perishable foods or making sandwiches and delivering them to the Constantia Can-marked trolleys outside Pick and Pay, Woolworths and Spar at Constantia Village.

Residents can also start their own project to raise funds such as the 18 students from Springfield Convent, SACS, the International School of Cape Town (ISCT), Sweet Valley Primary, Wynberg Boys’ High, the University of Pretoria, Bishops and the German International School who raised R25 000 by doing a 24-hour relay race last week.

The money will help to feed 250 children in Khayelitsha Site B for a month.

The Stevens family from Constantia will hold a 48-hour charity cyclathon, starting this Friday, for Constantia Can’s food relief efforts.

The five members of the family will cycle in rotation on indoor trainers for 1 250km, each cyclist doing about 250km in a nine to 10 hour stretch. Donations can be made through Quicket or by visiting the Constantia Can Facebook page for details.

Residents can also buy meal tickets on Quicket – a R100 donation will feed a child a daily meal for a month and a R600 donation will feed a family of four a daily meal for a month. You can also donate to Elru by emailing carolyn@elru.co.za