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Pringle puts his trust in feeding the hungry

Enkosi project relies on donated food for those in real need

Every day for almost three years now, Cedric Pringle has been feeding thousands of unemployed and poor people in some of East London’s communities.
Pringle does this through the Enkosi Trust, which feeds less fortunate people in Buffalo Flats, Pefferville, Duncan Village, Parkside, Stoney Drift, East Bank and Fynbos.
The non-profit organisation (NPO) feeds about 60 people a day and also helps other smaller organisations feed more people, taking the number to about 2000 people who benefit.
Inspired by the concept of not letting food go to waste, the NPO uses left-over food donated by various function venues, companies and individuals around the city in order to feed the needy.
From bread, bones, soup, salads and sandwiches, whatever the Enkosi Trust receives, they give out to the community.
“I organise everything, but really the community members who volunteer their time regularly are the true blessing. Without them, this would not be possible,” said Pringle, who takes different volunteers, from neighbours to church groups, to help him feed people in various communities.
Every day, Pringle and his volunteers visit a different area providing what for many is their only meal of the day.
“Every day we try to visit a different area because there is a lot of need out there. We are just a drop in the ocean but we try our best to make sure everyone in these communities gets something to eat,” he said.
The NPO is managed by a board of trustees.
“One of our trustees saw how well this concept worked in Johannesburg and decided to bring it here. We’ve had to adapt it a bit because we don’t have as many hotels and function venues, so we’ve also formed partnerships with businesses and individuals to ensure that we get enough to feed the community,” said Pringle.
East Bank resident, Natasha Fredericks said her family relied on the Enkosi Trust.
“We don’t have anything. They come out regularly and always bring us warm meals and extra things to help us feed our families,” said Fredericks.
Fynbos resident, Sophie Smith said the community knew there would be food to eat when the Enkosi Trust bakkie arrived.
She said children raced to the bakkie and the volunteers always gave them “nice food”. The trust also acts as a support system for 12 other soup kitchens, run by churches and organisations within the Buffalo Flats community, including the Haven Wellness Centre, the Pefferville Educare Centre, Jubilee Life Ministries Church and Grace Fellowship Church.
Haven Care Centre director Eurina Stowman said: “Cedric is an amazing person and always brings us bread, bones, fruit and veggies. It makes a huge difference to us because we are an NPO and don’t get any extra funding.”
Regular volunteer Jenny Nel, who often offers to cook soup for the Enkosi Trust, said it was an eye-opening experience seeing how many people went hungry.
Former Buffalo Flats resident, Gladys Zill, who now lives in Australia, said: “I try to join Cedric on his outreach every time I’m in East London. It’s very rewarding work, you can see that some of these children are extremely hungry as this is often their only source of food.”
Pringle also takes his grandchildren out to the communities.
“I want to show my grandchildren that what they have is not the norm and that if they have the opportunity to help someone in need, they should,” said Pringle. — madeleinec@dispatch.co.za..

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