By Ntokozo Nkambule
Food Quest Eswatini (FQE) has been officially launched.
FQE is a newly established Foodbank in the kingdom of Eswatini, seeking to reduce food loss and waste and delivery fresh, nutritious surplus food to those in need
The non-government organization has been in existence for a period of two years.
The launch was attended by prominent figures who included National Disaster Management Agency CEO- Mr. Russell Dlamini, Mr. Mpendulo Simelane from World Vision, Member of Parliament – Mr. Roy Fanourakis, Eswatini National Council – Siniketiwe Mdaka, just to mention but a few.
The guest speaker on the day was Christopher Restock from the GlobalFoodBanking Network who spoke on food loss, food waste, and laws related to food donations, liability protection, tax incentives, policy barriers, food date labeling laws, food safety regulations, and the principle of operations of food banks.
GFN is a U.S.A-based nonprofit-making organization that nourishes the world’s hungry by launching and strengthening food banks in more than 40 countries.
GFN focuses on combating hunger and preventing food waste by providing experts, directing resources, and sharing knowledge to reach more people facing hunger.
Mr. Rebstock mentioned that more than enough food is produced to feed every person, but one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted while 820 million people go hungry globally.
He emphasized that food donations simultaneously address food waste and food insecurity.
“But redirecting safe surplus food can be complicated. Food is heavily regulated and advocating for policy reforms to move safe surplus food into the hands of those who need it.”
The statement was echoed by the NDMA CEO, who emphasized that as a local food bank, Food Quest Eswatini must understand national laws relating to food donations, and food safety and learn more about food donation barriers.
Celani Matsenjwa the founder of Food Quest Eswatini shared his gratitude to GFN.
“In March this year, I had one of my best personal experiences and achieved a key milestone. I attended for the first time the Food Bank Leadership Institute (FBLI) 2023 in Mexico City organized by the Global Foodbanking Network.”
“Today, the FBLI-GFN’s flagship event- is the only global food banking conference in the world and also serves as an important platform for broader conversations between food banks and other food systems experts.”
“I had the amazing opportunity to meet food banker fellows in person from over 50 countries and engaged in inspiring sessions, as well as food banks tours.”