As poor families continue to feel the ravaging impact of Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, a Khayelitsha church is pulling out all stops to make sure that poorer households have something to eat.
The local Baptist Pentecostal Church led by Bishop Sizwe Nyobole last week donated more than 50 food parcels to poor and child-headed homes. The hampers included items such as salt, cooking oil, milk, maize meal, tea and sugar, among others.
Speaking after Thursday’s distribution, Bishop Nyobole said the effects of the pandemic were evident as the demand for food increased.
“People have lost jobs. This is the little we can do, as a church. We went out asking for assistance for the members of the church who are not working. But we had people from outside the church who were crying for food. We had to involve them.
“With the little we have as a church we had to share it with our community. We cannot eat alone while others are struggling for food. This is our humble part in fighting the increase of food insecurity and malnutrition brought to us by coronavirus. It is not easy but we are trying our level best to see to it that people can go to bed not in an empty stomachs,” he said
He said families whose breadwinners had lost their jobs, or which were headed by children, had been prioritised as beneficiaries.
“We have people on wheelchairs who have no means. We also have single parents who are struggling a lot. People came from as far as Nyanga to seek help in Khayelitsha. That is the devastation that the pandemic has caused. We appeal to those who are able to help to do so,” he told Vukani.
Velelo Ntseke and his wife Nomise Ntseke, who are both wheelchair-bound, were among the beneficiaries.
“The gesture shown to us was amazing. We are truly grateful to the church and its leader Bishop Nyobole and all those who contributed. This means a lot to us,” said Mr Ntseke
Another beneficiary, Nonceba Dyasi, said the church had been a blessing to her family. “Bishop Nyobole has been a good father to my family. Every time I needed either school uniform for my kids or food, I ran to him,” she said.
Thanking the church on behalf of the beneficiaries, community leader Mzayifani Vithi said it was the church’s job to help the poor.
“A church is the voice of the voiceless. This is what churches should be doing, care for the poor especially in this difficult time of the pandemic,” he said.