Impact of buyisa ubuntu food bank on livelihoods of kagiso residents during covid-19

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University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg
Food banks are set up as an option when governments are unable to safeguard the food security of their citizens. They intend to ease the numerous threats related to food insecurity. However, the ability of food banks to advance general food security outcomes is limited, even though they have a significant part to play in providing rapid solutions to extreme food dearth. They are meant to be a temporary way out for households that are destitute but a key to attaining food security. The aim of the study is to explore the impact of Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank on beneficiaries during COVID-19, as well as to understand the coping strategies of these beneficiaries in the midst of the pandemic. Also, the purpose is to determine the extent to which the skills development program has empowered beneficiaries. In order to achieve this, the study sought to determine a) The difference that the Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank has made to beneficiaries' lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, b) the extent to which the Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank skills development programme has empowered beneficiaries, c) the coping strategies that were used by the beneficiaries in the absence of the food bank services. The study found that the food bank use in Kagiso Township is due to dire economic difficulties out of the immediate domain of control of beneficiaries, such as poverty and unemployment. The coping strategies utilised by beneficiaries in the absence of food bank services are unsustainable. In an attempt to address the issue of unemployment among the beneficiaries, structural theories of poverty suggest that macroeconomic policy, which stimulates economic growth, both locally and internationally, should also be seen as the key solution for sustainable job opportunities. The findings of the study further revealed that the Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank made a financial difference in the lives of the beneficiaries through volunteerism and employment. Again, the skills offered at the skills development programme made a difference in the lives of some of the beneficiaries. However, the study found that the choice of skills in this programme is limited, and some skills are not of interest to beneficiaries. It is therefore recommended that the Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank provides an avenue for beneficiaries to voice their expectations. It is also recommended that iv higher institutions of learning and businesses join forces to provide a variety of skills for people who are food insecure. Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank faced some distribution challenges, as a result, beneficiaries received food once in three months instead of three consecutive months. This negatively affects the impact of the Buyisa Food Bank on the lives of beneficiaries. To address the food distribution challenges, it is recommended that the Buyisa Ubuntu Food Bank sticks to the standard operating procedure manual, which states that once the beneficiary is approved, the food needs to be distributed to them for threeconsecutive months.
A Research Report presented in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Management (in the field of Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation) to the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management, University of the Witwatersrand.
UCTD, Beneficiaries, Coping strategies, COVID-19, Food bank, Food parcels, Skills development programme