Fortress offers financial aid to 5 charities to provide hundreds of food parcels for children and families in need during lockdown
Fortress REIT, the owner of many key shopping centres and warehouses providing essential services during the lockdown, is providing financial support to five charities in SA for the provision of hundreds of food parcels and care packages for those in need during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Fortress, the largest owner and developer of premium-grade logistics real estate in South Africa, is proactively taking up the challenge laid down by President Ramaphosa for the private sector to do more to assist in alleviating the crisis. These donations build on several initiatives already undertaken by Fortress to keep facilities being used by the public hygienic, functioning efficiently and staff safe during the lockdown period.
“This crisis is unprecedented and as it drags on, the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable are most at risk. While the corporate sector will undoubtedly suffer due to the economic consequences of the lockdown, the large corporates need to continue to assist the immediate needs of the country in getting through this crisis,” says Fortress CEO, Steve Brown.
With a total value of around R2m, the various charities will receive much-needed financial support to help those most in need during the crisis. The idea is to ensure that the money is targeted in the most effective way to achieve maximum impact for the most vulnerable.
Fortress has funded a community-based nutrition support programme with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to benefit six communities to supplement current initiatives that Fortress and FTFA are already working together on across the country.
The other beneficiaries are Kids Haven, where food support will be provided to the children staying at the centre; the provision of 100 Food & Care packages to Sparrow Schools Education Trust; 300 food & care packages for Rays of Hope; and the Denis Hurley Foundation, who work with numerous charities and volunteers to provide support to the poorest of the poor in Durban.
“As we enter the second half of the lockdown period, the socio-economic impact is being felt in many communities in which we operate. Fortress hopes to build on this initiative even further going forward,” says Brown.
eThekwini selected the Denis Hurley Foundation as a collection mechanism to avoid delays in getting funds to feeding and care schemes for homeless people in Inner City Durban. Rays of Hope, meanwhile, launched a campaign "#Hope4Alex", where they would like to provide hampers to 1,000 families across Alex. While isolation is very difficult and medical facilities are limited, by providing non-perishable food, basic medicines, soap and sanitizers, they are hoping to reduce the need for people to go shopping for food and travel to doctors except in severe cases, while also enabling improved cleanliness and hygiene.
“If we all work together and take the necessary practical steps to support others, we can get through this crisis and move on to getting our economy back up to speed,” says Brown.
Apart from Fortress, other companies in the property sector are also involved in many initiatives to support their communities and Brown says more collaboration can be expected across the sector which has really come together to further support small businesses, the government and the country.
“It is critical if SA is to get through this lockdown and long recovery period,” concludes Brown.