Growing your own vegetables is best,” says Mickey Linda of Yiza Ekhaya soup kitchen in Makhaza.
Ms Linda is in partnership with Siyazama community food garden which is one of the six Shoprite-supported gardens in the area.
Last week the soup kitchen and the community garden received gifts from the chain store as part of its global movement aimed at encouraging charitable giving ahead of the festive season.
“Fighting hunger is a major focus for us 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,” said Lunga Schoeman, the group’s CSI manager.
The chain store partners with food gardens, ensuring they become sustainable enough to keep on providing fresh produce well into the future.
The support to these projects include extensive training workshops, the provision of gardening infrastructure and tools and the donation of plant materials.
“They train us on how to sustain our gardens so that we can continue feeding the hungry,” said Ms Linda.
The soup kitchen and community food garden collectively
benefit more than 165 Makhaza residents.
The Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen visits Yiza Ekhaya once a week, serving fortified soup and bread, while Ms Linda collects surplus food from Shoprite Makhaza twice a week.
The retailer has also assisted Ms Linda to establish her own thriving food garden.
“In addition to our hunger relief efforts, we invest in early childhood development (ECD) to ensure that children start their education on the right footing,” Mr Schoeman said.
“Our partnership with over 90 ECD centres in South Africa include education and governance training, nutrition and critical structural upgrades.”