By Nokuthaba Dlamini
A daily community feeding programme initiated by the taskforce on Covid-19 in Victoria Falls has been expanded to cover all Hwange West rural wards beginning of next week, targeting to feed over 5 000 rural children.
A steering team comprising of tourism players, religious leaders and politicians initiated a feeding scheme early last month targeting to feed more than 8 000 vulnerable children with hot meals weekly.
Hwange West Constituency MP Godfrey Dube who is part of the initiative told CITE that the programme comes after a realisation that the Covid-19 lockdown has left thousands of families starving.
“So far most of our projects for the constituency have been put on standstill because of this pandemic, and we are determined to make sure that no child dies from starvation,” the MP said.
“This has been the most difficult phase for the people in the constituency as most of them lost jobs and can hardly fend for their children and usually small children often bear the brunt more, so we feed these children between 12.30 PM and 2 PM where they collect their food and go back to eat from homes.
“We target any child who is still in primary school and under and the response has been overwhelming so beginning from next week, meals distribution will be stretched Chikandakubi, Nemanhanga, Kachechete, Chidobe and Matetsi rural wards where eighteen primary schools from these wards are going to benefit and community volunteers will be preparing meals for them.”
On average Dube said the schools have 350 children, and they will be fed in addition to other vulnerable community children.
The children are served either isitshwala or rice with soya mince, beans and vegetables.
In town, seven feeding points have been opened at Christian Centre, United Methodist Church, Seventh Day Adventist, Trust in God Pre-School, Salvation Army and Faith Mission Church where strict Covid-19 regulations are monitored by health and community personnel.
Small children and those living with disability get their meals collected by their parents.
The donations are made by local and international donors.
As of last week, the team announced that they have served over 53 000 meals to children at the feeding points.