The potential of social protection to ensure well-being and food security in Southern Africa is gaining renewed interest in the presence of unprecedented shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the incessant climate-change induced disasters. This study investigates the impact of social protection on welfare in Southern Africa and is comprised of three papers. In the first paper, I analyzed whether the Foster Care Grant in South Africa has an impact on child health. Based on five waves of the National Income Dynamics Study, the findings indicate that the grant improves height-for-age z-score by 0.23 standard deviations for children who received the grant compared to their counterpart and by 0.14 standard deviations for children who received the grant twice compared to those that received it only once. However, there is no further marginal impact for girls who receive the grant twice when compared to those that receive it only once. In the second paper, I assessed the impact of social capital on food security in Zimbabwe based on Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee data, finding that households with social capital are more food secure and are more likely to receive agricultural extension services. In the third paper, I assessed the impact of social protection and the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant on hunger in South Africa. Based on two waves of the National Income Dynamics Study - Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey, the findings indicate that receiving a government grant reduces the likelihood of going hungry and running out of money to buy food by 6 and 12 percentage points respectively, and receiving the special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant lowers chances of child hunger. Further, the findings indicate no heterogeneity on hunger between those that were screened or tested for COVID-19 and those who were not.