On 23 April 1997, the then state president of South Africa addressed the Food for Life festival, where about 30 000 children gathered for a programme organized by the Food for Life organization. At this meeting of the youth, he suggested that whenever he is with young people he feels like a recharged battery and looked forward to the youth to lead South Africa into the future. He stressed that children of South Africa need to be protected and they should not go hungry. He applauded Food for Life for its humanitarian initiative in creating hunger free zones and referred to these endeavors as being in the true spirit of Maskhane as envisaged by the democratic government.
Some 16 years later Food for Life has enduringly upheld its vision to distribute warmly prepared vegan food to about 5 000 school children daily.