Addressing the critical issue of rising food insecurity among marginalized and vulnerable communities, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF – the global philanthropic arm of The Coca‑Cola Company) recently awarded grants to Sevalanka Foundation and Sri Lanka Red Cross that provided food relief packages to over 7,800 families. Through this project, known as “Say We Care”, Sevalanka Foundation and Sri Lanka Red Cross Society Society (SLRCS) identified and assisted food-insecure families from various demographics and backgrounds.
Amid steadily hiking prices, limitations in agricultural production and economic hardships, the World Bank had previously estimated a 25% increase in Sri Lanka’s poverty level in 2022. As a result, countless families in the country have been forced to reduce the number of meals consumed per day. The nutritional value of meals had also been compromised due to high prices, and those below the poverty line were further burdened.
Through TCCF’s support to the Sevalanka Foundation, a voluntary social services organization under the Ministry of Social Services, over 6,000 relief packages were distributed in 10 districts to families who were hit hard by the economic crisis, the Divisional Secretariats and Grama Niladhari officials helped identify families most in need of aid.
SLRCS also provided food packages to over 1,800 families in 10 selected districts for whom waste collection is the primary source of income.
Commenting on the Say We Care initiative, Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation, said, “We are proud that our support has helped address the needs of the affected communities. We are grateful to the numerous, dedicated volunteers and our collaborating partners for carrying out this initiative with such diligence and compassion.”
The food packages, weighing approximately 30 to 45Kg, consisted of dry rations such as rice, dhal, wheat flour, sprats, canned fish, nutritious grains such as chick-pea, and other household necessities such as soap, disinfectant, and toothpaste This helped a family of 4 to 5 members within the targeted communities to sustain for 2 months approximately.
Families with women/single-headed households, low-income families (daily wage earners), households with children under the age of 5 or pregnant or lactating mothers and children with nutrition deficiencies are some of the many socio-economic segments that had been identified and provided with food packages through the Say We Care programme.