The non-profit, GiveFood seek
to provide free meals for one million weekly to Nigerians who have lost their livelihoods due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world.
Kola Masha, founder of the non-profit who also runs the Babangona, one of the largest agricultural companies in Nigeria, says the organisation is leveraging the kindness of many Nigerians and technology tools to provide free meals to people in rural areas and city centers across Nigeria.
“For us, it began with outpouring of support by everyday Nigerians stepping to support other Nigerians in their communities, so we began thinking of how we can leverage our strength as a technology company to support the work of grassroots frontier organisations doing incredible work in this regard,” Masha said in an interview on 99.3 Info Lagos radio station.
Masha explained that the initiative was also to provide a platform for people who are willing to support others in a safe, convenient and efficient way.
“There is a true recognition of the reality we face in Nigeria and the reality that this challenge will go on for a while. What we need is a solution that can scale and support both rural and urban communities,” Masha said.
GiveFood.ng has created an infrastructure to get a million meals out every week to the most vulnerable. It is working with over 150 supermarkets and stalls across the country, leveraging the existing supply chain and empowering them with technological tools to reach thousands of people.
It also has vast number of grassroots volunteers who identify the most vulnerable in the society. In rural communities, it has enabled an instant pay option where individuals can donate to the platform and smaller provision shops with a bank account, can receive the means to support rural people.
Masha said those willing to support can go to the website and donate money which will be converted to food packs at the rate of N100 per meal. Individuals and organisations can purchase packs of food for communities they know are impoverished and volunteers within those communities will carry out the distribution.
According to the entrepreneur, individuals or organisations can also decide to support specific families.
The system differs from similar initiatives through its use of technology and the use of existing supply chains to reach the most vulnerable.
But those in need do have the opportunity to get on the website to register but are advised to coordinate with religious and community organisations in their areas who will screen them and then register as volunteer group so they can get on and receive assistance.
“The sad reality is that the situation is unfortunate and will remain so for a long time. As a country and a continent, we don’t have social safety net for the most vulnerable and poor.
Now everyday Nigerians are stepping up to do this job. We are left to support one another, we are all part of a bigger family and need to step up and protect that family, this is the most effective way for someone to do that
- Masha said one of the organisation’s success stories is a beneficiary called Mama Ruth, a seamstress, married to mechanic and both have lost their incomes due to the economic lockdown. They were surviving by the generosity of their neighbours until GiveFood stepped in and began providing them meals.