Faces of Covid-19: SA expat rallies help for desperately hungry ‘souls’ in Mpumalanga

In my previous photo essay, I referred to the efforts of countless people and organisations from all walks of life responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and providing food relief to vulnerable communities around them. I then received an email from Kelly Szabo, who shared the work on a fundraising drive in the rural community of Allemansdrift B in Mpumalanga. The project is spearheaded by South African expat Kate Crossland who now lives in Surrey – UK. In Kate’s own words: the community has little opportunity for employment, high casual labour (all dried up in CV19) high mortality, and a high number of child- and grandparent-headed households with no parents present. Kate decided to reach out and set up this fundraiser to buy and distribute food parcels to families in this severely impoverished community. This reminded me of a quote, “we always dream of changing the entire world, but sometimes changing a single soul is enough, for inside every human, there is a world.” Please send your pictures on how the Covid-19 crisis has affected South Africans, and how we are helping each other, to [email protected]. – Lindiwe Molekoa

An email from Kelly Szabo:

Good morning Lindiwe,

I read your recent article about food security with interest and thought that you might like to hear about how expats are coming to the assistance of a rural community in Mpumalanga.

This fundraising drive has been spearheaded by a South African expat who now lives in Surrey – UK. Kate Crossland has been beyond amazing at rallying people to help feed this severely impoverished community.

You can get in touch with Kate via the page – Friends of Allemansdrift B.

Posts from Friends of Allemansdrift B Facebook group: 

Yesterday’s distribution of food parcels was once again gratefully received by Allemansdrift B residents. Queuing started at 6.15 am with the very elderly arriving with wheelbarrows and grandchildren in tow to push them home.

We handed out 116 food parcels to excited beneficiaries. 100 funded as a result of the generosity of this group and a further 16 that were sponsored by Shoprite Holdings.

We also gave out 51 lovely fluffy blankets to our most senior citizens who were delighted with their unexpected gifts.

The Shoprite mobile Soup Kitchen was on site the whole morning serving piping hot beef soup and fresh bread to several hundred community members as you can see from the images posted below.

(Below), Kelly shared: 

Shoprite South Africa delivered Monday, Kelly, Lydia and her family have been busy making up the food parcels for Thursdays distribution! Thank you to all who have donated and shared to make this possible and to Kelly, Lydia and family for all their hardwork to make this day possible 🙏

Below, Kate shared:

The day was a huge success!! Kelly, Lydia and her family worked throughout the day organising and distributing the parcels to the people on the list they had created.

628 children will be fed via the parcels distributed today.

97 parcels went to households taking care of more than 5 children under the age of 10.

(Below), Kate shared:

Tomorrow is so exciting… it is the first day of fruition of all of our efforts. Kelly has managed to secure an additional delivery of water and Shoprite South Africa have delivered enough food to make up the 100 food parcels plus 100 blankets and tomorrow they are returning with a soup kitchen for 300 people. What strikes me the most about the words I am writing right now is how most, if not all of us, take water, warm food and blankets as a given and for these folk they are not. Thank you again for your generosity in helping this community.



Beneficiaries collecting groceries.

Kate Crossland shared: 

This is a photo of the weekly water tanker arriving at Allemansdrift B, which is what Kelly Szabo has managed to organise through local government. Previously this community could go without water for up to 49 days !!!!! Every one brings every receptacle they have and fills it with water as there will be no more water till the following week!!!

“Just some of the groceries purchased to date for distribution in Allemansdrift B as a result of our donors amazing generosity.”


Help us document how Covid-19 is affecting South Africans. Please send your pictures to: [email protected]

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