Thursday, March 12, 2009

South African food pantries visit the states for ideas

A group of South Africans who head up a national food bank are in the states for ideas. People from Food Bank South Africa visited the Food Bank of Northern Indiana in South Bend.

From the South Bend Tribune, reporter Sue Lowe talks to Bob Forney from the Global Food Banking Network, who organized the trip.

There have been food pantries in South Africa for years, but the national food bank network is new. Forney described conditions in South Africa that make us realize our good fortune.

He said unemployment is 40 percent and that's not counting the people who have just given up.

Stuart McPherson, with the Food Bank in Cape Town, South Africa, said the country needs to feed 6 million refugees who have streamed in from neighboring countries.

Forney said the government has a defined role in operating the regional food banks in the country along with private citizens and business.

He predicted that in the next couple of years, the country will have the fifth or sixth largest food bank network in the world.

He said the South Bend food bank is a good place for the group to visit because the country has many cities the size of South Bend and rural areas like much of the six counties the South Bend food bank serves.

The Food Bank of Northern Indiana works with almost 200 agencies that provide food for people in need.

No comments: