Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can! –Nosh motto.
According to Nosh Food Rescue, 14 million South Africans are going hungry while over 30 percent of the country’s food goes to waste. In 2017, a shocking 10 million tons of 31 million tons of food produced goes to waste. According to the city council, 27 percent of people in Johannesburg are food insecure, with this increasing to 47 percent in the inner city.
Nosh’s executive director, Hanneke van Linge, says the NPC’s aim is to repurpose unsold and leftover food, both perishable and non-perishable, and distribute it to those who need it most. NOSH has provided over 45 000 meals to soup kitchens and feeding schemes over the past four years.
“A friend from Florida started the soup kitchen in 2012, and I joined her at the beginning of 2015. She was retiring to the coast so she asked if I knew anyone who would like to take over, not wanting the men to go hungry just because she was not able to continue in person. It was a pretty natural progression – I was already involved in food rescue, poverty relief and community gardens, so I took over from her after a short while and Nosh was born.
Nosh’s goal is to reduce food insecurity, by diverting, repurposing, and redistributing prepared and perishable surplus food that is still wholesome and nutritious. We build relationships with retailers, distributors and farmers to prevent still-edible food from being trashed. We collect the produce at our premises in Randburg, assess, sort, clean, portion and preserve it. We then arrange for distribution to a network of currently about 20 shelters, soup kitchens and feeding schemes.
Surplus food is wasted for a variety of reasons such as over production, over-ordering by retailers – so shelves look stocked for customers, unmet packaging requirements, sell and best by dates being reached, ease of dumping rather than redistributing food, being some of those reasons.
A variety of charitable institutions have and continue to receive the food such as the Apostolic Faith Mission, Cosmo City, Bertrams Inner City Farm, Bez Valley Agri-Co-operative, Bodhgayashanti Sanctuary Outreach, CLAW for the community, Displaced Persons Sub-unit, Braamfontein and many more.
We currently serve an area spanning from the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg to the West Rand and Midrand, and use local and international volunteers sourced through platforms such as WWOOF, WorkAway, HelpX, CommUnity Hours SA, AEISEC, GivenGain, as well as word of mouth and social media. We also recommend that people join the Volunteer Ambassador programme if they want to start lobbying stores in their neighbourhood to get involved in the donation of food.
There are four main areas that Nosh is focusing on to reduce food wastage:
- Field Gleaning: The collection of crops from nearby farmers that have already been mechanically harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest
- Perishable produce salvage: The collection of perishable produce from wholesale and retail sources, including cold chain, urban and suburban farming operations, wholesale markets, supermarkets and farmers’ markets
- Perishable and prepared rescue: The collection of prepared foods from the hospitality and food service industries, including restaurants, hospitals, caterers and cafeterias
- Non-perishable processed salvage: The collection of processed foods, usually with long shelf lives, from sources such as manufacturers, supermarkets, distributors, grocery stores and food drives.
Pay It Forward
If members of the public want to get involved and/or see our current list of needs, go to our website’s ‘Getting Involved’ page:
Join our Facebook Group to get notified about fundraising events Nosh Food Rescue Facebook
To donate via PayPal, SnapScan, PayFast, EFT go to https://noshfoodrescue.co.za/donate/ Ref: PEOPLE and your name, so it can be attributed to the relevant person.
Or e-mail [email protected]
Pic Credit: Nosh Food Rescue