Community food gardens are gearing up to sell their vegetables at selected Checkers stores on Friday (18 May) to raise much-needed awareness ahead of World Hunger Day (28 May).
As part of its broader strategy to fight hunger, the Shoprite Group believes in partnering with local community organisations in the fight against hunger. The Group’s vision is to enable communities to feed themselves in an independent and sustainable manner.
It is the second time that community food gardens will be selling their excess crops at Checkers stores across South Africa.
Lydia Hlophe from Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Programme in Pinetown, Durban looks forward to the interaction with a broader customer base. “Last year the customers were so happy to see us and some even took pictures with us. We were able to share our organisation’s story and talk to them about how they can help. Afterwards many even took the time to visit us at our garden’s monthly market day,” she explains.
The money generated by sales will go towards supporting the children who normally benefit from the Yenzanathi programme. “Many of the children we work with live in child-headed homes and all the money raised through this initiative will go towards helping them. Every customer can help and their support will be greatly appreciated.”
Another second time participant is the Suthani Community Garden from Alexandra, Johannesburg. “We’re very excited about this opportunity as it is a great way for us to market our garden,” says Kenneth Sibiya.
Kenneth is one of the four pensioners who started Suthani (Isizulu for “well fed”). With support from Shoprite, the garden now grows enough vegetables to sell to the local community. “In addition to buying our vegetables, we also invite members of the public to visit our garden, which we are very proud of,” he adds.
In the Eastern Cape the Empumelelweni project in the Amothole District’s Goshen Village will participate for the very first time. “We are so excited and look forward to selling our vegetables at the Checkers in Queenstown. Our vegetables are delicious and of the highest quality,” says Mxolisi Mankunti of the Empumelelweni project.
In addition to partnering with sustainable food gardens, the Shoprite Group also makes surplus food from its stores available to verified non-profit organisations whilst its fleet of Mobile Soup Kitchens enables the Group to respond to immediate needs in vulnerable communities.
Caption: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day.