Boston, USA and Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA – 18 October, 2021 – To mark World Food Day celebrated annually on 16 October and in line with GE Foundation’s efforts to address the economic and social implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the GE Foundation announced a donation of US$100,000 to provide immediate relief to South Africa’s communities experiencing food insecurity. The donation will fund Food Forward SA and help to provide more than 20,000 people with one meal per day for 12 months in Soweto and Alexandra townships, which have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. In addition to the organisation’s donation, GE employees can support relief efforts through its 1:1 Matching Gifts Program.
“The GE Foundation is proud to work with Food Forward SA and support families in South Africa facing unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President, GE.
“Whilst health responses have formed the centre of our COVID-19 relief efforts, we recognize that addressing immediate physiological needs such as providing stable access to food at this challenging time is equally critical in the battle against COVID-19” said Nyimpini Mabunda, President of GE Southern Africa. “Food Forward SA is a leader in the relief effort, and its multiprong approach to combatting food insecurity through monthly distribution to local vetted partner organizations, daily pick-up sites in local retail outlets through its FoodShare digital foodbanking programme, and mobile drop offs in difficult-to-reach communities will provide thousands with access to food over the coming months,” he added.
GE employees who make eligible donations to FoodForward SA or other participating charities can register for a match with the GE Foundation’s Matching Gifts program, which supports employees’ personal philanthropy and charitable giving by providing a 1:1 match. The GE Foundation created the concept of a corporate matching gift program in 1954. Today, the program continues to serve as an important element of the Foundation’s portfolio, with gifts matched in 2020 totaling $16.8 million.
Andy Du Plessis, Managing Director at FoodForward SA, says “We are grateful for the generous contribution made by the GE Foundation and look forward to growing the partnership. This donation will help us to address vulnerable beneficiaries in Soweto and Alexandra in Gauteng. Without the support of corporate partners such as GE, FoodForward SA would not be able to reach its network of 1,200 vetted beneficiary organisations through which we collectively feed nearly 700,000 people daily.
Since the onset of the pandemic, GE in collaboration with its partners has supported communities in South Africa. To date, over R7 million worth of PPE and healthcare equipment have been donated to 8 hospitals in Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces. In addition, GE is currently constructing a community primary healthcare clinic in Botleng Ext. 6, Mpumalanga to address growing demand and to improve the community’s access to quality healthcare. Upon expected completion in 2022, the clinic will deliver a full primary healthcare service including 24-hour emergency, COVID-19 testing amongst others.
GE’s Disaster and Humanitarian Relief program responds to major global disasters and humanitarian crises, drawing on GE’s people, technology and other resources to reduce suffering and hasten recovery. Since 2020, GE Foundation’s philanthropic contribution in disaster relief totaled nearly $5.4 million, which was largely focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, GE Foundation donated $100,000 to relief efforts in Argentina and Peru, which are also experiencing a surge of COVID-19 infections. GE remains committed to preparing for and responding to future natural disasters and humanitarian crises, diligently maximizing the impact of our financial, technological, and human resources.
About FoodForward SA
FoodForward SA, established in 2009 to address widespread hunger in South Africa, connects a world of excess to a world of need. FoodForward SA recovers quality surplus food from retailers, manufacturers and farmers and redistributes this food to registered, vetted beneficiary organisations that serve the poor. They are part of a global movement focused on alleviating hunger and reducing the environmental impact by diverting quality surplus food. With operations in all nine provinces, FoodForward SA is the largest food distribution non-profit organisation in South Africa and is well-positioned to address food insecurity at scale.
About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, an independent charitable organization funded by GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. Through Next Engineers, we are increasing the diversity of young people in engineering. We are inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through our Matching Gifts Program and Disaster Relief. The GE STAR awards provide financial support to children of eligible children of GE employees for their achievements. Learn more at www.ge.com/foundation and follow us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.
For media inquiries, please contact:Jeff Caywood
Director, Sustainability & Headquarter's Communications
+1 857 337 4101
+1 617 443 2993
[email protected] Anne Ezeh
GE South Africa
[email protected] Deidre Adams
Fund Development Manager