From the shores of South Africa to the vibrant heart of Southern California, Charlene Lingham exemplifies what it means to champion global change. As the founder of the Lingham Foundation, now based in San Diego, she’s championing an international cause that strikes close to her roots: addressing the systemic causes of hunger in South Africa. But her vision doesn’t stop there. As the foundation becomes more established, Lingham aspires to support nonprofits overseas and closer to her new home in Southern California.
Highlighting the alarming statistics, results from 2021 indicate that out of nearly 17.9 million households in South Africa, 15 percent (2.6 million) had inadequate access to food, with another 6 percent (1.1 million) facing severe food inadequacy. Meanwhile, 10.3 million tons of food go to waste in South Africa annually. Amid these staggering figures, Lingham’s alignment with SA Harvest, a South African organization dedicated to rescuing food, demonstrates her relentless commitment to making a difference.
Lingham’s dedication stems from her profound South African heritage. Though now a San Diego resident, she always remembered the challenges of her homeland. With SA Harvest, she found an organization that shared her vision and drive. Beginning with just a van in Cape Town in 2019, SA Harvest quickly evolved into a national powerhouse, delivering 46.3 million meals, aiding over 200 beneficiary organizations, and rescuing 14 million kg of food – perfectly good food that would have ended up in landfill, emitting greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change. Their efficiency is unmatched, with the cost to deliver a meal being a mere R0.90 ($.05)
Her work serves as a beacon for Southern Californians, showing our world’s interconnectedness. Whether the issue lies in our backyard or across the ocean, individuals like Lingham remind us of our collective power to drive change.
Lingham’s foundation is more than just a philanthropic endeavor; it’s a movement, a call to arms for Southern Californians to step up, get involved, and make a tangible difference in the lives of millions. It’s about moving beyond empathy and taking steps toward impactful action.
“In my role, I am keen to raise awareness about SA Harvest’s impactful work, especially in the United States,” Lingham adds. “Donations take on a profound significance, as the efficiency of SA Harvest allows them to stretch every dollar further means that your contribution can enormously impact South Africa, reaching those in need with a meal that carries the warmth of compassion across oceans.”
With just a $100 donation, 2,000 meals can be delivered to hungry SA residents.
Charlene Lingham’s commitment to her roots is about addressing food insecurity and kindling hope in places where despair often reigns. The Lingham Foundation, now a nexus for altruistic action, encourages Southern Californians to use their resources as a force for good in the world. Charlene reflects on this deeply, stating, “Together, hand in hand, we’re not just feeding people; we’re sowing the seeds of change, cultivating a landscape where sustenance and solidarity flourish side by side—a testament to compassion in action.”
To learn more about SA Harvest, visit www.saharvest.org. For additional information on the Lingham Foundation and its initiatives, email Charlene Lingham directly.
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