AN Oxford businessman who owns a vineyard in South Africa has launched a foundation to help feed thousands in the Stellenbosch area who are going hungry due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rollo Gabb, who lives in Oxford and is the managing director of Journey’s End Wines, set up the foundation as a non-government organisation to tackle hunger and extreme poverty via a network of soup kitchens in the Helderberg region of Stellenbosch.

The Journey’s End Foundation has initially committed to providing 8,000 meals per week for 52 weeks, with a target of achieving 10,000 meals per week by the end of October 2020.

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“The South African economy continues to be very badly affected by Covid-19, with the Western Cape in particular hit by a devastated tourism sector and close to zero hospitality,” said Mr Gabb.

Oxford Mail:

“This, coupled with a recent ban on domestic wine sales, has severely impacted the wine industry, and a 10pm curfew is killing the restaurant sector leading to a significant increase in unemployment.

“With very little government support many families are now unable to bring any food to the table and starvation in the Cape is a real risk. It has been reported that some 20,000 people in Stellenbosch alone are at risk of hunger.

“We completed the set-up of the Journey’s End Foundation in August realising we needed to move fast.”

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Mr Gabb said corporate social responsibility has always been a key of Journey’s End since his family bought the vineyard in the 1990s. It has supported the winery’s local community, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, through employment and several development programmes, including the building of a new hall for the local school.

Journey’s End is a boutique vineyard which has won several international awards and is stocked by the likes of the Ivy restaurants, Browns, Hawksmoor Restaurants and the Oxford Wine Company