Communities are the heartbeat of Shoprite’s business they are home to our employees and our customers. As Africa’s largest food retailer, we work daily to fight hunger through our support of community food gardens, our fleet of Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchens, and the donation of surplus food from our stores. We’re committed to advancing early childhood development by providing preschools with teacher training, structural upgrades and nutritious meals for the learners. And we’re the first to respond when communities are devastated by disaster. These are just some of the ways we act for change in the communities we serve. 

Shoprite brings drought relief    

Customers can contribute to drought relief efforts while they shop by donating to the #ActforChange Fund at till points at Shoprite and Checkers stores across South Africa. All they have to do is inform cashiers of their donation amount of R5 or more, which will then be added to their grocery bill. All proceeds to the #ActforChange Fund will go to Gift of the Givers, Shoprite’s partner in disaster management relief efforts. Customers’ contributions will add to the R150 000 the retailer has already made available for the provision of animal feed and humanitarian aid. Addition lly, in towns where there are Shoprite, Checkers or Usave stores, the retail giant has committed to providing hundreds of food parcels for distribution to communities in distress. Shoprite’s Mobile Soup Kitchens are also, where possible, serving in towns benefitting from Gift of the Givers’ relief efforts. “The difficulties faced by our communities in the Eastern Cape is unprecedented,” says Lunga Schoeman, CSI Manager for the Shoprite Group. “It is in times like these that our innate spirit of ubuntu kicks in and we, as South Africans, reach out to help those in desperate need of assistance. Our communities are the bedrock of our business, so that we cannot idly stand by as the people in drought affected communities struggle to make ends meet. Join us as we seek to alleviate their plight sooner rather than later,” explains Schoeman. 

Ensuring preschoolers’ future 

Community champion and preschool principal, Noxolo Xuma, didn’t want the next generation of children in the rural area of Mfundisweni in the Eastern Cape to grow up without an education, so she decided to do something about it With Shoprite’s support, Noxolo now runs a successful early childhood development centre that not only educates children, but feeds them too. “People were not educated in Mfundisweni because they didn’t have the means to send their children to further their education. “As community members, we sat down and discussed the situation and founded Ndamase Preschool in 1995,” explains Noxolo. Heavy rains swept away much of the school in 2016. “The river was full and swept everything away. The house we are in was severely damaged during heavy rains.  Then Shoprite stepped in and they’ve helped us a lot,” says Noxolo. 

Shoprite and its implementation partner, the Centre for Early Childhood Development, upgraded each of the classrooms and renovated the entire kitchen. The added a storeroom, refurbished the playground , established a food garden, and continue to provide the children with a nutritious daily meal. “At Shoprite, our communities are at the heart of everything that we do. The children at Ndamase Preschool are getting the nutrition they need to that they can fulfill their potential when they grow up. I grew up in a community like this, so I know that early childhood development is important for these youngsters,” says Sipho Qikelo, the branch manager at Shoprite Flagstaff. 

Empowering people to fight hunger 

Paulina Ntontela has turned her passion for gardening into a business thanks to the support she received from the Shoprite’s extensive community food garden programme. A resident of Goshen Village near Cathcart, Paulina attended gardening workshops presented by the retailer and was inspired to start her own food garden at home. Soon her garden flourished and Paulina even won the first prize in a competition held by Shoprite’s garden implementation partner, Food & Trees for Africa. Encouraged by this, she started growing seedlings and today is supplying seedlings and herbs to numerous other food gardens in the area. “My herb garden is my pride and joy. Nothing makes me happier than working in it and now this garden not only feeds my family, but also provides us with an extra income. I’m very grateful to Shoprite for the opportunity I’ve been given to become self sufficient,” says Paulina. 

View full article here.

Publication Date: 22 Nov 2018

Community Development, Daily Nutritious Meal, Early Childhood Development, ECDC, Food and Trees for Africa, FTFA, Herb Garden, Seedlings and Herbs, Shoprite
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