Wheels bring meals for the needy

A member of the cycle tour hands a young boy a meal.

Hundreds of people packed the OR Tambo Hall, in Khayelitsha, on Friday March 9, to receive hot meals from Meals on Wheels, as part of the organisation’s Extreme Rider for Hunger Cycle Tour.

Young and old beneficiaries waited patiently as a group of 20 cyclists and Meals on Wheels volunteers prepared more than 1 000 hot meals, at the end of a gruelling 1 000km tour from Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, to Somerset West.

The cyclists left Kimberly on Sunday March 4, to raise funds and help the needy along the way. They arrived in Khayelitsha on Friday.

Now in its third year, the tour was established by Meals on Wheels to raise awareness and funds to feed the needy, elderly, children and under privileged people in the Northern Cape.

Since 1964, when the organisation started delivering 16 meals a day with one car, it has grown exponentially, with more than 280 vehicles across the country, feeding close to 2.4 million people monthly, from 210 kitchens.

According to the organisation, hunger and poverty were among the most serious problems facing South Africa and the world.

“We are still faced with imbalances of the past,” said Gershon Naidoo, programme director for Meals on Wheels.

“Most previously disadvantaged groups do not have access to formal infrastructure and facilities. Rectifying these imbalances is a priority for us.”

One of the cyclists, Mxolisi Ncube, said the pain of cycling from Kimberly to Cape Town was nothing compared to the suffering endured by millions of South Africans.

Mr Ncube, who completed his third tour, said he was thrilled to have been able to contribute to the needy.

“I am doing something that I like. That is my little bit to end the plight of hunger,” he said.

* To support Meals on Wheels Extreme Ride for Hunger, SMS the word “Meal” to 39055. SMSes cost R15 each.