DURBAN – Food For Life South Africa, a non-sectarian vegetarian food relief organisation founded by members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), has opened a new kitchen in Newlands, KwaZulu-Natal.
A culmination of efforts by both Metro Bus company heir Vidhor Mangaroo and Durban business mogul Vivian Reddy helped the organisation extend its reach to just over 30 kitchens across the country.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, who was present beside eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza, acknowledged the contributions by Mangaroo and Reddy’s Sibiya Trust.
“We are informed that in 1974, the ISKCON founder urged his yoga students to liberally distribute sanctified food so that there would be no hungry people anywhere in the world.
“We are pleased to note that you are an independent, non-sectarian charitable service working in over 50 countries. From this kitchen 12,000 meals are served to the community of Newlands, KwaMashu and beyond,” Zikalala said during the opening on Friday.
“On behalf of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, we acknowledge the generous financial contribution of Mr Vivian Reddy, chairperson of the Sibaya Community Trust, in building the infrastructure for this Food For Life kitchen.”
The premier said that while the charitable efforts were duly appreciated, liberating citizens from poverty and reliance on charity should also be prioritised.
Zikalala said that the timing of the project was symbolic in that it coincided with Youth Month, and urged the younger generation of the province to “rise to action”.
He said that youth-owned businesses with the potential for growth and employment opportunities should apply for government funding from its R50-million development fund that was announced in February.
“We also have a programme of Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) to grow the agricultural sector and support SMMEs and co-operatives in agriculture. This is a programme biased towards the empowerment of youth- and women-owned enterprises,” Zikalala said.