Shoprite, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, distributed 200 garden-in-a-box starter kits in Orange Farm, Mpumalanga, to ensure greater food security in this community. 

Each kit, handmade by Reel Gardening – a social enterprise that creates job opportunities for previously unemployed mothers, contains a variety of essential garden resources including seeds and fertiliser to produce enough herbs and vegetables to feed a family of four for a year. 

“Shoprite is committed to building the resilience of the communities in which it trades, and this initiative equips families to grow their own nutritious food for at least a year. It is one of the many initiatives Shoprite has in place to address food security in under-resourced and vulnerable communities across South Africa,” says Judy Maluleka, Shoprite, CSI Manager. 

“In South Africa, the Foundation will be framing its Mandela Day work around its food and nutrition programme. While the call to action remains the same, we will be focusing our endeavour and our messaging around promoting community and backyard gardens, supporting fruit and indigenous tree planting, and creating awareness of the intersections between food security and climate change,” comments Sylvia Graham, Analyst at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

“This partnership with Shoprite will offer us an opportunity to contribute towards sustainable solutions that address food insecurity.” 

An additional 400 garden-in-a-box starter kits will be distributed to communities in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and the Eastern Cape during April. In total the 600 starter kits will be able to feed 2 400 people for a year. 

Hunger relief and food security are at the core of the Shoprite Group’s corporate social investment programmes. 

The retailer supports more than 160 community food gardens and over 2 500 home gardens, which impacts almost 17 000 beneficiaries. 

In the past year, more than 570 community members were trained in sustainable food gardening, assisting them to generate an income while growing nutritious and organic food.