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Mandela Day Food Drive raises funds and awareness for Isle of Man Foodbank.

03 August 2023

Mandela Day Food Drive raises funds and awareness for Isle of Man Foodbank.

In celebration of Mandela Day, a campaign was held by the South African community to collect donations for the Isle of Man Foodbank. The campaign marked the 10th anniversary of Mandela's passing and embodied the spirit of his lifetime commitment to 67 years of service for social justice.

Inspired by the principles Nelson Mandela stood for, the campaign recognised the value of every individual's capacity to make a significant difference. It invoked Mandela's call to contribute a symbolic 67 minutes of time - a minute for each year of Mandela’s public service - to help and uplift communities.

The event was proudly organised by Isle Settle, the initiators of the inaugural SAFFA Festival, and the IOM Chapter of the SA Chamber of Commerce UK. Support from leading firms with South African connections such as Standard Bank demonstrated the power of collective action and social responsibility.

Vanessa Naude, owner of Isle Settle, commented on the occasion: "The Mandela Day Food Drive was aimed at expressing our gratitude for the opportunities afforded to South Africans to make this beautiful island our home. It was heartwarming to see such positive response and collective action."

Mandela Day concluded with an invitation by the newly appointed Mayor of Douglas, Cllr Natalie Byron-Teare, JP, to a reception in the Mayor's Parlour. Representatives of the African community were invited to commemorate the occasion in keeping with her theme of Community for her year in office.

June Whiteman, Chapter Lead of the SA Chamber of Commerce UK, added: "We are grateful to the mayor for her commitment to all members of our community and her endeavours in drawing people together."

In addition to honouring Mandela's life and legacy, the initiative highlighted the vital role of the Isle of Man Foodbank. The Foodbank is committed to minimising food waste while simultaneously ensuring individuals and families in need receive a hand up, not just a handout.

The Mandela Day food drive was a four-day collection outside M&S in Strand Street, resulting in the generous donation of £463.80 and 13 crates of food and toiletries. The director of the Isle of Man Foodbank, David Gawne, expressed his heartfelt gratitude, saying, "The generosity we've seen during this campaign is truly inspiring. We thank everyone who donated and participated in making a significant difference in our community."

Beyond providing immediate relief in the form of food parcels, the Isle of Man Foodbank extends its support further by offering action plans to help recipients move beyond their immediate crisis. These plans aim for a return to independence, providing advice on cooking with minimal facilities and utilising surplus food from suppliers to benefit those in need.

The Mandela Day campaign stands as a testament to the extraordinary work of the Isle of Man Foodbank, an organisation that truly embodies the principles of social justice and community support that Mandela championed. This initiative sends a strong message that every day is a new opportunity

to help improve someone else's life, echoing Mandela's lifelong belief in the power of community service and human solidarity.