Newport: Charities ship affordable food packages to Africa

A portion of the food that the charity delivers with Robert

A charity that distributes African food parcels in Newport claims that by doing so, it is assisting those who cannot afford to buy food.

Every month, the Zimbabwe Newport Volunteering Association sends out between 30 and 50 food shipments to Africa.

Its founder claimed that the high cost of living was making many African foods in specialty stores unaffordable.

According to one mother, this meant that her 17-month-old daughter could get used to food "from home".

The charity's founder and chair, Robert Muza, claimed that as living expenses increased, recipients appreciated the packages "more and more.".

Because they are imported from Africa and not produced locally, the items are more expensive where we go to buy and fetch them, he explained.

"In addition to the food donations, we also bring leaflets with information on the housing crisis and direct the recipients to other organizations for better opportunities in employment, volunteer work, or mental health. ".

Boerewors sausage from South Africa, fufu flour made from mashed plantains, and maize meal made from dried corn kernels are just a few of the items contained in the packages.

The project has provided assistance to Latoya Musonza, 36, of Zimbabwe. She says life has had its "ups and downs" and has a 17-month-old daughter named Tamaya.

Latoya and Tamaya
In 2019, the UK granted asylum to Latoya Musonza.

She said, "It was more difficult when I was on asylum because you can't work, so it's quite hard to survive on £40 a week.".

"Now it's a little better because I started receiving help from Universal Credit and child benefit when I was given my [asylum seeker] status.

"Because my bills are so high for a single mother, there is never enough. I can't say it's easy because of the gas, electricity, and food, but I'm glad I'll be starting college in September at the University of South Wales. ".

Latoya claims that throughout the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis, the charity has "always been there.".

She claimed, "The food is just like at home.".

"It's been really helpful, but my daughter and other kids should be familiar with the food from my home country as well. ".

Robert Muza
Community Foundation Wales, which established a fund to aid black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities severely impacted by the pandemic, provided funding for the project.

According to Mr. Muza, some residents of African communities are particularly being affected by the cost of living crisis.

According to him, people who lack extended family networks may feel alone, send money to relatives in Africa, and be hesitant to ask for assistance due to the stigma associated with using food banks.

He explained that's why he either arranges for people to pick them up from his house or delivers the food packages.

The majority of people, he said, "don't want to be seen picking up a food parcel.".

"There is more privacy with our model of coming to the house. ".

One of the volunteers, Samson Muputa, who had previously been homeless, claimed that due to the cost of living crisis caused by the pandemic, life was "really, really difficult" for many.

Samson Muputa
Samson Muputa highlighted the rise in grocery costs.

"I'll spend £30 on two bags of groceries from Aldi. It would have cost half as much just a year and a half ago," he said.

New research, according to Luke Young of Citizens Advice Cymru, demonstrates that in Wales, a disproportionate number of people who identify as black, black British, Caribbean, or African use the organization's services.

That indicates that those specific communities are dealing with unique problems related to the cost of living crisis, he said.

What it frequently indicates is that certain deeply ingrained social injustices are currently having a greater impact on those specific segments of the population. ".

Wales Live on BBC One Wales at 22:35 GMT and on BBC iPlayer have more information on this story.

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