Operation Hunger
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Poverty, inequality, and the lack of access to land are issues that drive the continued malnutrition of women in South Africa. Women not only have a lack of access to sufficient food production, but they also have a lack of access to nutritious food. To discuss this, we talk to Sandy Bukula, Interim CEO at Operation Hunger.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been disrupting food systems, leading to poorer food choices and compromising food security for many South African families. Mapping disruption and resilience mechanisms in food systems have become key to the continued efforts to address and meet the needs of the missing middle of COVID19. How do we look beyond the present and not minimise the importance of transforming South Africa’s regional and national food system? For more on this, we are joined by Sandy Bukula, Interim CEO at Operation Hunger.

South Africa cannot pause on local development or support in the new economy. Businesses need to come together to address the blind part of our socio-economic health, ensuring our turnaround/direct stimulation efforts. To discuss how we ensure we remain inclusive in our efforts to rebuild the economy by integrating our youth into our COVID-19 response plans, we are joined via Skype by Sandy Bukula, Interim CEO at Operation Hunger

SA’s ‘missing middle’ going hungry

South Africa’s ‘missing middle’ is going hungry. These are people who do not qualify for social grants but are not fully employed.

This is according to Operation Hunger’s interim CEO Sandy Bukula.

She told SowetanLIVE that the organisation is seeing more and more people that fall into this bracket come looking for food relief.

Malnourished South Africans may be hit hardest by third wave, warns Operation Hunger

Millions of malnourished South Africans may suffer severe illness if a third wave of Covid-19 infections hits SA because of their weaker immune systems.

Sandy Bukula, interim CEO of Operation Hunger, told TimesLIVE: “While we are awaiting the outcome of the projected figures from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification for January-March 2021, about 11.8 million people, or 20% of the population, are expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity.

Millions face hunger pandemic in SA


Cape Town – While government resources are exhausted to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, a pandemic of hunger is consuming the nation at a rapid rate.

Experts now fear malnutrition in women and children will stunt the future of the economy.

Statistics released by Operation Hunger indicated that 11.8 million (20%) of South Africans are expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity.

Spotlight needs to remain on South Africa’s food security crisis, say NGOs fighting hunger


Operation Hunger was established in 1978 by Dr Selma Browde and Dr Nthato Motlana. It is an organisation that has “Nutrition First” at the centre of its hunger alleviation strategy. Browde and Motlana were prompted to establish the organisation when they noticed an increase in patients presenting with illnesses caused by malnutrition. The organisation’s model to eradicate hunger was built on the following tenets:
Assessment, Relief, Projects, Education, Sustainability, to respond effectively to the needs of vulnerable communities.

Reaching the “missing middle”


“COVID-19 has reversed the gains that have been made against malnutrition across the country as continues to push health systems to the limit” and has affected the “missing middle”.

This was the sentiment of the CEO of Operation Hunger, Sandy Bukula, after one of her organisation had visited Katlehong in Ekurhuleni where more than 80 families were provided with food parcels on Thursday.

Operation Hunger addresses nutritional challenges amid climate, Covid-19, economic factors


The agricultural price index is near its highest level since 2013, and as of July 16 2021 it was approximately 30% higher than in January 2020. Maize, wheat and rice prices were respectively about 43%, 12% and 10% above their January 2020 levels.

R350 COVID-19 special grant comes to an end amid calls for extension


The end of the grant and calls for its extension come as South Africans continue to feel the COVID-19 pinch.

An Ipsos survey has recently found that almost 50% of SA households have gone without food due to the pandemic as companies closed shop and/or scaled down operations.

Operation Hunger’s Sandy Bukula weighs in on the findings: 

Food security emergency: At least 11.8 million South Africans are hungry


According to the recently released 2021 Global Report on Food Crises produced by the Global Network Against Food Crises, the global drivers of hunger are conflict, economic shocks — particularly from Covid-19 — and climate crisis/weather extremes. The report estimates that there are 155 million people living in acute hunger worldwide, with Africa accounting for 63% of the global total and 40.4 million of those living in central and southern Africa.

Warnings about worsening food insecurity in KZN and Gauteng


Hubs need to be set up to enable communities affected by looting to have direct access to food, said AgriSA executive director Christo van der Rheede on Friday.

This was in the aftermath of the destruction of shops in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and amid growing concerns over food insecurity, especially in affected communities.


ALEX – SPAR and Operation Hunger donate 3 000 food parcels to starving Covid-19 families in Alex.


During times of crisis, it is important to recognise common humanity and show compassion to those in dire need.

This is precisely what prompted SPAR Inland and Operation Hunger’s #FeedaFamily campaign to join forces in a donation of food parcels for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Alexandra and other areas in Gauteng.

Shoprite’s Act for Change Fund to further support communities


Operation Hunger is the recipient of donations to the Act For Change Fund in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Some 4 000 families have benefited from their ‘Feed a Family’ campaign, which is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through the generous donations of ordinary South Africans, we are afforded the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of many people,” says Sandy Bukula, interim CEO of Operation Hunger.

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There are so many ways in which you can get involved to help contribute to fighting malnutrition in this beautiful country. We look forward to hearing from you.