Cape Town – Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers yesterday provided some food parcel relief for the elderly in Nyanga.

More than 300 elderly people received food after Gift of the Givers said it had received a call from Nyanga police asking for agency assistance for families who visited the police station daily for food.

Gift of the Givers project manager Ali Sablay said they had to intervene.

“This time of Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the vulnerable people, especially those in the township and the Cape Flats. Those who were fortunate enough to have jobs are unemployed now,” he said.

“Gift of the Givers has had a partnership with the Nyanga police for many years.

“We were contacted by the SAPS on Monday, who said that they were getting an overflow of people, especially the elderly, asking for food. Most of the residents here survive on one meal a day.”

Sablay said it was important to assist the elderly as they were often the ones looking after their families, including their grandchildren.

Nyanga community police forum secretary Dumisani Qwebe said: “About 300 elderly people received food parcels today. We want them to fight this virus with us and not feel left out by society.

“We have also urged them not to let their grandchildren roam around the streets, as they will contract the virus.

“By doing this, we are at some point minimising crime in the area. Other youngsters rob because there is not enough food back at home for the whole family.”

Michael Gwatyu, who lives with his five grandchildren, was thankful.

“The food parcels came at the right time because some of us need food before taking medication and also to boost our immune systems.

“As elderly people we are vulnerable to diseases such as coronavirus because our immune systems are not as active as they used to.

“We really appreciate the work done by Gift of the Givers and community stakeholders to assist our families, and indeed this means a lot to us as elderly people. It shows that we are still being taken care of by our communities during bad and good times,” said Gwatyu.

Cape Times

By Odwa Mkentane