It’s noon on June 1st in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Dustin Blessman is on the other end of the WhatsApp, and the unmistakable sound of dishes being washed provides the background soundtrack for our conversation. He and Johanney are readying to deliver food packages this afternoon.
“Things are looking up,” he observes, “baby steps…but the right direction.” COVID-related restrictions lessened from Level 4 to Level 3 today, and most schools welcomed 7th and 12th graders back to in-person classrooms. Some schools opted out. The distanced learning partially fills educational objectives, but many families do not have the device or means to connect, exacerbating their disadvantage.
Dustin reports “a little work starting up, but many jobs were lost and many still on hold.” He describes “increased need and hardship” evidenced by the hard-hit rummaging for food scraps and cutting dead trees for heat as winter approaches (June 1 in the Southern Hemisphere is like December 1 in the Northern.)
Like many of her neighbors, Mrs. Lebolo awoke this morning in her home, a corrugated steel shelter, unsure whether there will be food for her children today and in the days ahead. It’s on her mind constantly. Imagine the scene as Ben arrives at her door with a food package and she begins to unpack. Rice packets. A tray of tomatoes from Mountain View Farm. Thirty eggs. An assortment of purchased food items. Nutrition for her family. Relief. This is what Dustin, Johanney and the distribution team anticipate as the dishes are finished up and the truck heads out.
If you would like to provide for a similar scenario, please go to www.blessmaninternational.org, click “donations”, and then choose “feeding children” from the drop-down menu. Your $50 gift provides a month’s supply of produce, packets and purchased groceries for a family of six.