Communities central to Shoprite’s strategy to give back

This Giving Tuesday (3 December 2019) the Shoprite Group hosted 16 different events across South Africa as it reflects on its extensive long-term support of community initiatives.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement aimed at encouraging charitable giving ahead of the festive season.

“Fighting hunger is a major focus for us as Africa’s largest food retailer and that’s why we support almost 100 community food gardens and more than 300 home gardens. If you put all these gardens together they would cover some 2 million square metres,” explains Lunga Schoeman, the Group’s CSI manager.

Shoprite partners with food gardens, ensuring they become sustainable enough to keep on providing fresh produce well into the future. The support for these projects include extensive training workshops, the provision of gardening infrastructure, tools and the donation of plant materials. The retailer also partners with early childhood development centres and further supports communities by organising cleanup events and being among the first to provide disaster relief following devastating fires or floods.

Adverse weather did not hamper celebrations at the Khanyisa School for the Blind in Kwadwesi on Giving Tuesday. Shoprite established a food garden with raised beds at this school, so as to encourage involvement from the blind and partially sighted learners.

The school’s deputy principal and garden champion, Alec Stoffels, wants to leave a legacy of learners who have immersed themselves in gardening to the degree that they can grow their own vegetables one day. 

Those attending the Giving Tuesday event in Kwadwesi included principals from the surrounding schools, ward councillors as well as Iqbal Bangaree, co-founder of the Healing Hands Foundation. Bangaree’s organisation shelters women and children in crisis, and on a monthly basis feeds upward of 15 000 residents of New Brighton, Motherwell, Kwazekele and Helenvale.

The Healing Hands Foundation benefits from regular donations of surplus food (food which can no longer be sold but is still fit for human consumption) from Shoprite Stanford Rd Korsten. 

This is a snapshot of the Shoprite Group’s partnerships with various communities in Port Elizabeth  and is a testament to the value the retailer places on uplifting the communities it serves.

CAPTION: Garden volunteers tending the food garden at Khanyisa School for the Blind with Esmeralda Essex (centre) from Shoprite at some of the raised beds installed by the retailer.

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