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In March of 2020, fifty-seven million South Africans went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the Ekurhuleni Center for Orphans and Vulnerable Children was temporarily closed, leaving 230 children unable to receive the one and only meal they are guaranteed each day.

The lockdown and the closing of the airports also resulted in the Monte Foundation Ekurhuleni Project being postponed until the country reopened. We at the Foundation immediately re-focused our efforts to address the most pressing problem in the Kruger Park Region of South Africa: Hunger.

As a consequence of the pandemic, many South African’s have lost their jobs or have been placed on unpaid leave. Suddenly, thousands of people have no income to support their families in this already impoverished region.

At the beginning of March, the vegetables from the Monte Foundation Gardens were harvested and delivered to the 230 Ekurhuleni children, their caregivers, and families in the area. Together with our partners, Spring of Hope, Into Africa Safari, Seeds of Light, Ubuntu Mundo, Zingela Trust, and the Rotarians Hoespruit, we are now providing food on a weekly basis for supporting more than 1400 people in the area. Our gardens are supplying them with spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cabbages, cauliflower, and broccoli. These families are now receiving at least one healthy meal each day.

We are grateful to Wendy Van Shoor, Ekurhuleni Project Manager for the Monte Foundation, who organized the delivery of the food and the permits so that essential individuals would be allowed to travel to quarantined areas. With masks in high demand, Wendy has also sown more than 400 masks that are being delivered to the community with the food parcels.

With each passing day, however, the demand for food in the community has grown and many families are left in hunger. To make matters more dire, South Africa has entered its winter season. Recently the Monte Foundation was contacted by Nourish, a local NGO, to support the purchase and distribution of blankets to the Ekurhuleni children we serve. We were so grateful to receive this call and have since distributed 230 blankets to the community.

None of this would be possible without the help of our team in South Africa and local NGO’s like Spring of Hope, Seeds of Light, Ubuntu Mundo, Zingela Trust, Rotarians Hoespruit, and Into Africa Safari.

We are so grateful for your partnership as we continue to support these children and their communities.

Any and all donations that you make to the Monte Foundation go directly to feeding these children, their families and to the work we will soon undertake the transform their physical, emotional, and intellectual health.

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