CTICC CEO Julie-May Ellingson, staff and suppliers donate food parcels to local NGO, Journey of Enrichment
The Cape Town International Convention Centre celebrated Africa Day in the best way it knew how – by giving back to the communities of this proud and diverse continent.
Each year, on the 25th of May - officially declared Africa Day – the continent commemorates the formation of the Organisation of African Union, which was formed in 1963. The day is set aside to highlight African solidarity, diversity, successes, and the economic and cultural potential of the continent.
As a proudly South African company, the CTICC worked together with its local community partner, Journey of Enrichment, hosting a food drive to fight hunger in local communities and highlight the issue of food security in Africa. It was with this spirit of ubuntu that the CTICC called on its staff and suppliers to donate non-perishable food items for food parcels for donations to vulnerable communities on the Cape Flats.
Said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC: “Food security on our continent remains a major concern for families. The ongoing water crisis in Cape Town and the rising food costs associated with the drought also reminds us how vulnerable we are to the effects of climate change. A considerable amount of our business centres around food. Our focus is not only on creating delicious cuisine but efforts include minimising waste, dealing with rising food costs, sustainability and responsible sourcing. It made perfect sense for us to host a food drive and partner with Journey of Enrichment.”
In the week leading up to Africa Day, CTICC staff and suppliers donated items that were packaged into food parcels which included mielie meal, rice, tinned food, peanut butter, jam, soup mix, pasta, flour, and sunflower oil, and officially handed over the parcels to the local NGO. On the 27th of May, Journey of Enrichment distributed 186 food parcels to families living in Mitchell’s Plain, Athlone, Philippi, Manenberg, Parkwood, and Netreg.
Journey of Enrichment started as Joe's Feeding Scheme in 2015. Since then, the organisation has provided over 640 parcels to families in Cape Town as a real and nutritional offering of “hope and relief from their daily struggles”.
“The food parcels will ensure, albeit for a short while, that recipients in these vulnerable areas are able to have some form of nourishment beyond one meal. It’s a helping hand for an aunt caring for her nieces and nephews, or a granny living on only her pension caring for herself and her grandkids. It’s a form of support to anyone left ill equipped through the circumstances they face,” said Tasneem Abrahams, Treasurer at Journey of Enrichment.
The banqueting halls of the CTICC are a far cry from these daily struggles, said Ellingson.
“That is why we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate Africa in a different way – to leverage our brand in support of our local community partner, to get staff and our supply network involved. One of our core values as a company is gratitude which also means being appreciative of the benefits we receive but to also return the kindness. Most experts agree that we don’t have a food problem; the world produces enough food. The problem lies in how food is distributed, income levels and what we do with the food that we already have,” explained Ellingson.
Abrahams added that tying the initiative to Africa Day showed the importance of unity among Africans: “It is an opportunity for us to help our fellow brothers and sisters, coming together as Africans. We are a resilient people and as Africans it’s our duty to stand together to overcome all the hardships we face.”