Market agents donate food for the destitute

Johannesburg – After being inspired to help relief efforts in poverty-stricken communities, agents trading at the
Joburg Market donated over 32 tons of fresh produce to the City of Joburg’s food bank on Friday.
The donation was accepted by Economic Development MMC Lloyd Philips and Joburg Market board chairperson
Simon Clarke.
That followed Mayor Geoff Makhubo’s appeal for enterprises to assist the City administer food relief during the
national lockdown.
Market agents act on behalf of farmers on the trading floor and represent the Institute of Market Agents of South
Africa (IMASA), the largest source of food donations to the City’s produce distribution depot.
IMASA chairperson Nico Muller said: “We felt inspired to assist people who are in need of food, and to play a
part in ensuring food security in Gauteng.”
The Joburg Market food bank collects, sorts and reviews food for quality before allocating it to non-profit
community agencies, including orphanages, poverty-stricken crèches, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools,
old age homes, disability centres and indigent families who are unable to cover funeral costs.
It collects weekly donations of fresh produce from market agents and retrieves foodstuffs marked by security as
unclaimed and unaccounted-for on the market floor. It also uses its allocated budget to buy fresh produce for
NGOs and indigent households.
The bank receives a substantial proportion of its donations from agents who usually have excess produce they
cannot sell in the normal course of business.
Philips thanked IMASA for the food donations.
“The contribution will help us fight persistent hunger. The City’s food relief efforts are aimed at the most
deprived residents, about 16 000 to 19 000 households,” he said.
He urged residents to keep safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19. He advised them to follow the World Health
Organisation’s precautions to use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep their hands clean;
maintain safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing; not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth; cover
their nose and mouth with a bent elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing; stay at home if they feel unwell;
those with a fever, cough and difficulty breathing to seek medical attention by calling health authorities; follow the
directions of their local health authority; and avoid unnecessary visits to medical facilities.

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