Two-a-Day staff helps to feed 1000 people on Mandela Day
For one of the largest employers in the Grabouw Valley, apple and pear packers and processors, Two-a-Day, Mandela Day is an opportunity to focus on their community outreach and this year was no different. Despite the limitations of Covid-19, Two-a-Day, lead by the Wellness team’s Carmenita Julies, a Social Worker at Two-a-Day, and Raymond Kamineth, Two-a-Day’s Civil Technician, made a significant impact on their community at large.
According to Carmenita Julies the project had a big and positive impact on HR, the directors and each worker in their respective areas on July 18 this year. “Everyone was so available and ready to help,” she says, “our main goal was to reach out to hungry people in our area: children, adults and the aged. We covered Hillside and Slangpark, Pineview and Heights, Beverly Hills, Rooidakke, Irak, Siteview, Melrose-Place, Xola-Naledi, Waterwork, Libanon and Botrivier engaging with 1078 people. One of the recipients said that she could now finally take her medicine as it needed to be taken with food. Many others touched us with their heartfelt appreciation and fortitude to be hungry and still to have energy available to smile. The children were also happy to see us. Despite their hardship, people expressed their humanity in a beautiful way.”
Julies added that in the 11 areas where soup was distributed were employees of Two-a-Day using their own electricity and encouraging their family members to assist in distributing the soup and bread. “They offered help without being paid and worked on a Sunday to feed the hungry. The positivity between group members motivates me to do more. Staff even attended meetings to plan the project irrespective if they were working the day or the night shifts. They surely add value to my profession. Teamwork makes the dream work,” she ends.
Raymond Kamineth says that to have been a leader of a group doing this was a huge privilege and pleasure. “When we decided on this project, we had no idea how it would turn out or where the supplies would come from. Two-a-Day management, HR and, actually, every department at Two-a-Day, bought into the project so that we could make a success of it. Personally, it opened my eyes for the deep needs that exist in our communities. It also warmed my heart to see the compassion amongst Two-a-Day employees towards those who are less fortunate or privileged. I have a lot more consideration, appreciation and gratitude towards organisations and people, who out of their own pockets, provide feeding to the less privileged. As my wife Murchell said afterwards, ‘It felt so great to give and make a difference in the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves.’’
Kamineth says that Carmenita Julies who is the Project Coordinator of the Wellness Friends at Two-a-Day, worked tireless to make this projects a success.
Albertina Hoffman of Two-a-Day said: “The facial expressions even through the masks of the people touched and warmed my heart and made me realise that life matters regardless of the circumstances. Sharing and participating in such an event has been an inspiration for me.”
Mirtle Philander volunteered to help “homeless” people: “We as a group were involved in feeding the ‘homeless’. Most of them were men and a few women. While they queued up, one could notice that they are well mannered. My heart grew fonder as they took their warm meal with a big smile and said thank you. They immediately started eating, and some even returned for a second helping. They were so grateful and a few came back before we left to personally thank us.”
Maria Vaaltyn agrees: “We made a difference in another’s life and it helped me realise that even if it is for one day, we can make a positive impact and I look forward to the next opportunity to do so.”
Henri John Philander was another volunteer. “The day means giving back to the less fortunate. Yes, you can do it every day but, on this day, it’s about being considerate, doing something for those less fortunate, your community or others in general, serving others brings a type of fulfilment that’s rarely found anywhere else and that’s what I felt. In summary, fulfilled,” he says.
Dimitri Jacobs, Director, Human Resources at Two-a-Day said that this, like all their outreach and corporate social-responsibility projects, has an equal impact on the giver as it does on the receiver. “Sometimes the weight of the need is so great it frightens people away from even helping a little but the experience here has shown us that even for one day in a year, it is possible to contribute and make a positive impact,” he says.
Two-a-Day is one of the shareholders of Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the largest exporter of South African apples and pears and wholly owned by the growers at Two-a-Day and Ceres Fruit Growers. Tru-Cape Managing Director, Roelf Pienaar, says that Two-a-Day’s leadership in this respect is inspiring and initiatives such as these also matter to Tru-Cape global customers who want to know who the people are behind the food they sell.”