What is Rise Against Hunger Southern Africa (RAH SA)?

Established in the USA in 1998, Rise Against Hunger is an African organisation that co-ordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organisation is driven by a vision to end world hunger in our lifetime and a mission to provide food and life-saving aid to the world’s destitute and hungry in the most sustainable, efficient and effective manner.

SHN was established in September 2009 in Johannesburg, with the Cape Town office being launched in March 2011.

What does RAH offer/provide?

RAH Africa offers a social investment opportunity to provide fully balanced nutritional meals for pre-school children. Of course these meals are necessary for their holistic development. We depend on passionate, active volunteers for meal packaging and food distribution events. Our Programme has solid, measurable results, and restores hope for hungry children.

What is RAH’s vision and mission?

Our vision is Africa without hunger.  Our mission is to end hunger in Africa in our lifetime by focusing on transformation through education, using food as a leverage to ensure we feed the current generation of learners while at the same time holding learners, parents and educators accountable to achieve defined outcomes.  This breaks the cycle of entitlement and dependency, replacing it with empowerment and development.  

Is RAH a registered charity?

 We are registered as a Section 21 Not-for-profit Corporation (NPC: 2010 / 013659 / 08).  We have obtained Public Benefit Organisation (930034583) status with the South African Revenue Services (SARS), allowing us to issue Section 18A certificates for tax deduction purposes.

We are also a registered Non-profit Organisation (086-447) with the Department of Social Development.

Who are RAH’s major funders?

We have broad-based funding through a network of corporates, SME’s, community-based and faith-based organisations.  Major corporate sponsorships to date have been obtained from Anglo-American, Atlas Finance, First National Bank, Growthpoint Properties, Liberty Life, Old Mutual, Primedia Broadcasting, Pick n Pay and The Foschini Retail Group.

Is RAH a faith-based organisation?

RAH is a Christian organisation and has been since our inception. Our vision of a world without hunger is a faith response to our understanding that all people of faith have a divine mandate to work toward achieving a just and peaceful world. Such a world cannot be achieved without all of God’s children having access to enough food to sustain their health and well-being.

As an integral part of our calling, however, we aim to be a totally inclusive organisation and welcome our staff, donors, volunteers, beneficiary communities and all who join in our vision of ending hunger in our lifetime, irrespective of their religious belief, political affiliation, race, nationality and sexual orientation.

What does the RAH R2.75 per meal cost cover?

The R2.75 per meal cost is used to acquire the ingredients as well as pay staffing and support costs for our programmes, which include the hosting of the meal packaging events, the monthly distribution, monitoring and evaluation of participating beneficiaries. Supplies are purchased on the general commodities markets, and we obtain reduced rates on most of our ingredients.  We retain a small percentage for promotional and administration costs.

Where do RAH obtain materials and ingredients?

All of RAH Africa’s materials and ingredients are purchased in South Africa through local wholesalers and manufacturers.   Our vitamin and mineral enrichment packs are produced in South Africa specifically for SHN SA, and are only available as part of meals packaged through our programme.

How many volunteers are required to pack RAH meals?

We arrange packaging assembly lines of 15 to 20 volunteers. A line can package 5 000 meals in 2 hours.  We typically run 2 to 10 lines per event, which can last from one hour to a full day with shifts.

What are the benefits of the RAH meal?

A RAH meal is a complete nutritionally balanced meal, with an enrichment supplement of 23 vitamins and minerals specifically formulated to combat malnutrition.  Our distinctive packaging makes the product safe to store for 12 months, and minimises the risk of resale or other misuse.  The meals are easy to prepare, requiring only water and 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time using electricity, gas or wood.  

How do you determine where to distribute meals and how do you ensure they are received by those who most need them?

As far as possible, we limit distribution of meals to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, primary and high schools and universities.  RAH Africa complete a baseline evaluation of prospective ECD’s and schools to ensure that they meet the criteria of being under-resourced, yet have both the will and initiative to commit to achieving a goal (determined at the commencement of the Results Oriented Nutrition Programme (RONP).   Development plans are drawn up for a six month period, with a mid-term valuation and final evaluation being done at the three and six month marks respectively.  We rely on community-based organisations and NGOs active in our beneficiary area for more regular monitoring.  Based on successful monitoring and evaluation results, support may be renewed.

We work with donors to identify worthy organisations to distribute the meals that they have packaged.  RAH Africa will evaluate prospective meal recipients to validate their accountability and in order to ensure that the meals will be received, stored, secured and distributed effectively as explained above.

Although the core focus of RAH Africa is our RONP, a constant reserve stock is retained for disaster relief. Ten per cent (10%) of meals packaged at all events are allocated to the disaster relief inventory and stored at our warehouse facilities. When a disaster occurs the meals can be dispatched immediately to the communities in need of food. Government, Corporates, Civic Organisations, Faith Based Organisations (FBO), Educational Institutions and individuals all form part of the RAH Africa programme to eradicate hunger in Southern Africa through collaborative partnership. Our partners together with public news announcements alert us to disaster struck communities, wherever they may be.

How is providing food aid to under-resourced communities sustainable? How will communities become self-sufficient?

Addressing hunger is a key strategy to increasing education rates and providing a way out of poverty in developing countries. Providing meals in learning institutions increases attendance, as parents are more likely to send a child to school if they know that the child will receive a nutritious meal. As education levels rise, birth and disease rates fall, and communities begin to sustain themselves. RAH meals are about giving a “hand-up” and not a “hand-out”.

The success of RAH is achieved by empowering the ECD’s to secure its own sustainability. Their progress and achievements are measured by impact assessments performed through our monitoring and evaluation programme.  The key focus of our RONP is to assist ECD’s to develop their facility sufficiently to qualify for registration with the Department of Social Development, meeting all the legislative requirements. The programme does not foster dependency but empowers the ECD’s, which in turn ensures the sustainability of the RONP.

Many developed nations, including Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and France have long histories of supporting national school feeding programs, a testament to the vitality and effectiveness of these programs.  Other less resourced nations such as Brazil, with its Zero Hunger programme, are proving this within the developing world as well.

If learning institutions get this food from you for free, don’t you think we’re hurting the local economy/local farmer who used to supply them food?

Aid does have the potential to undermine local food producers and distributors, and there are those who would use this as a reason not to provide any aid at all while severe malnutrition and food insecurity takes place, which we believe is unconscionable in a country where we produce enough food to feed every single person.

The effort to end hunger must involve short-term strategies to end immediate suffering as well as long-term strategies to decrease poverty and increase food production capacity. The food we provide is best utilised when it leverages other sustainable development initiatives such as school feeding programs because addressing hunger in a developing country can provide huge benefits in addressing other major issues.

By supporting ECD and school feeding programs we are also helping the local farmer/food provider. Economically, these programs have a limited amount of money to buy food, whether locally or elsewhere. When the school program does not have to spend its food money on this basic nutrition, it can spend what money it has saved to buy additional food from local farmers/food providers. This will further increase the nutritional intake of the students, as well as provide additional income to the local farmer/food providers.

Do you think it’s really possible to end world hunger in our lifetime?

The world has enough production potential and distribution capability to feed everyone. The world has actually produced enough food to feed itself since the 1960s – enough to feed everyone 2 200 calories per person each day.  This is also true for Southern Africa as a whole. The need is for both the moral and political will to end hunger. We have the resources, we know where to go, we strive to end apathy towards hunger and create a movement to end hunger in our lifetime.

How can the public get involved in RAH’s work?

Individuals and members of the public can help spread the word by directing colleagues, friends and family to Stop Hunger Now SA’s website www.stophungernowsa.org, our Facebook page facebook.com/stophungernowsa, Twitter Account @stophungernowsa and YouTube youtube.com/stophungernowsa.

Individuals and members of the public can make donations directly to our bank account:

Stop Hunger Now SA

Bank: First National Bank, Eastgate.

Account Number: 622 734 29 483

Branch: 257 705

Swift Number: FIRNZAJJ

We hold public meal packaging events on every second Saturday of the month.  Look out in the press, our website and our social media channels for opportunities to volunteer.

How can Community and Faith Based Organisations get involved in RAH’s work?

In addition to help spread the word and/or making a financial donation, organisations can also help by fundraising and hosting a packaging event.  Our entry level, for a faith based organisation, is 6 000 meals for an event (R14 500).

How can business get involved in RAH’s work?

In addition to help spread the word and making a financial donation, businesses can help by fundraising and hosting a packaging event, either on their own or by matching a community-based or staff member’s fundraising effort. Our entry level, for a company, is 5 000 meals for an event (R25 000).

As well as providing much needed support to under-resourced communities, our packaging events can serve as a team-building event for your staff, or as a promotional opportunity with your client base, helping to build staff and customer loyalty to your brand, and positioning your company as a good corporate citizen in the community.  With each volunteer packing around 125 meals in an hour, an investment of R 362.50 per staff member or customer makes RAH Africa one of the most cost-effective ways of gaining a worthwhile and positive return on your corporate social responsibility spend.

Please contact our office ( info@stophungernowsa.org) for more information.


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Registration No: 2010/013659/08. PBO No. 930034583. 086-447-NPO.