Charity In Motion
Peugeot South Africa and Meals on Wheels Community Services have been cooking up a storm – and then delivering hot food to the hungry.
The partnership’s latest initiative was a cook-a-thon held at the charity’s City Deep warehouse on September 22, during which no less than 1200 hearty meals were prepared and rapidly distributed to residents of informal settlements. The logistics of this part of the operation was aided by a brand new Peugeot Partner Crew Cab, donated to Meals on Wheels by the PSA Foundation and handed over at the event.
The PSA Foundation is the Peugeot Citroen Group’s umbrella body to help those in need, with mobility being the common thread. While the Foundation has aided more than 400 projects in France and abroad, this is the first time it has become involved with a cause locally. Their decision to support MOWCS was the result of a compelling motivation submitted by Peugeot Citroen South Africa, which has been a long-time supporter of the feeding scheme. Indeed, many of the vehicles in their delivery fleet already boast either the Lion of Belfort or the double chevron on their grille.
Says Francis Harnie, managing director of PCSA: “We’ve made it clear before that we are in South Africa for the long haul, and see ourselves as responsible and involved corporate citizens. Meals on Wheels is one of many projects we are involved with and the partnership goes back to the turn of the century. It is still hard to comprehend that in this day and age there are people – and children especially – who still go without a proper meal every day. When we submitted a motivation for further support to the Foundation and got such a positive response, we were ecstatic.
The similarities between the corporate social investment goals of the local distributor and the overarching aims of the Foundation are clear: both see sustainable development as a key economic driver, and realise that without mobility it is difficult to progress. Both are deeply aware of their social responsibility – one as a multinational automaker the other as the company behind Peugeot and Citroen locally.
In a prepared statement, the Foundations said that: The actions of Meals on Wheels Community Services are a perfect illustration of this social responsibility as they are actions of solidarity towards the most vulnerable. Mobility is a global social issue in which the Group, through its Foundation, endeavors to be more and more involved through the development of innovative initiatives. This is why the selection committee of the Foundation unanimously decided to support your association through the material donation of a Peugeot Partner Crew Cab.
Gershon Naidoo, Programmes Director from Meals on Wheels added: “Meals on Wheels Community Services has been delivering meals to communities in South Africa for the past 52 years. What started in 1964 with one vehicle and only 16 meals delivered has grown into a nationwide organization consisting of 280 vehicles and 210 kitchens feeding close to 2.4 million hungry South Africans each month.
“As our name implies without wheels we will be unable to deliver meals to more than 15 million hungry South Africans and thanks to Peugeot we have a fleet of safe, reliable vehicle that are helping us get this job done.”
On the day, the actual preparation of the food took the form of a fun cook-off between staff from PCSA and those from medical aid Discovery Health. Once the cooking was done, the new Peugeot Partner and a fleet of other Peugeot and Citroen commercial vehicles were loaded up with fresh food. They then turned south and headed off, for a rendezvous with the hungry of Orange Farm and South Hills.
“The charitable feeding scheme is such a natural fit for us and this initiative, which falls under the Driving Away Hunger programme, gives us the opportunity to use our vehicles in both a humanitarian and practical way,” concluded Harnie