Regulations governing the distribution of food parcels to the poor

Food parcels packed by members of the SSvP ready for distribution to the poor

Conferences that are actively engaged in distributing food to poor families need to take note of the government regulations that have been published. Although these regulations came from the Gauteng Department of Social Development, we assume that similar rules apply in other provinces. If in doubt, please check with your local provincial government representative.

Among the points raised are:

Organisations wishing to distribute food parcels must submit an application to the Department of Social Development no less than 48 hours before the envisaged distribution date. In order to obtain the necessary authorisation, the organisation must provide this information:

  • Name of Organisation
  • NPO Registration Number, Address and Contact Numbers
  • Area of distribution
  • Date, time, quantities and number of families/households targeted
  • Food parcel content

Upon receipt of the Authorisation letter from the Department of Social Development, the Organisation must ensure the following:

  • Inform the local SAPS Police Station prior to the delivery of food supplies (for enforcement of law and order).
  • Food Relief must preferably be delivered to individual households. Until advised otherwise, only food parcels are allowed – not cooked meals.

If distribution is done at a central place and more than 50 beneficiaries are targeted:

  • SAPS must be informed 24 hours before the distribution date
  • A plan must be drawn in consultation with SAPS, Metro Police, SANDF and the Department of Social Development to ensure Public Order policing availability.
  • Social distancing and sanitisation must be enforced (in line with relevant health guidelines).
  • Distribution must be done in collaboration with Social Development unit within a Municipality (including collection of distribution data).
  • In case circumstances and resources permits food relief beneficiaries must include those sourced from the Department’s pre-qualified database (Call Centre referrals).
  • Beneficiaries details/attendance register must be kept (ID numbers, addresses, contact number, number of people in the household, etc.) and shared with the Department of Social Development
  • Expiry dates of food must be confirmed by government officials (DSD or SAPS or Environmental Health Officials) – and consumables without expiry dates must not be allowed for distribution.

The Organisation(s) will facilitate their relevant permits in terms of the Regulations, and same will be presented to the Law Enforcement Agencies, together with the DSD Food Distribution Authorisation Letter, as and when so required.

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