Picture: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day. (Supplied).
Picture: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day. (Supplied).
Picture: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day. (Supplied).
Picture: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day. (Supplied).

CAPE TOWN - Retailer, Checkers will be offering community food gardens the opportunity to sell their vegetables at selected Checkers stores across South Africa this Friday to raise awareness ahead of World Hunger Day on May 28. 

For the second time, the Shoprite Group has partnered up with local community organisation, Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Programme in a fight against hunger. The groups vision is to enable local communities to sustain themselves independently. 

Through Checkers partnership with Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Programme in Pinetown, Durban, community food gardens will be selling their excess crops at 15 Checkers stores across SA. 

Picture: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day. (Supplied).
Picture: Community food gardens selling their produce at the 2017 Checkers Market Day. (Supplied).

Checkers has supported the Yenzanathi programme since 2016. The group first started supporting the founder of the programme, Lydia Hlophe in July 2016.

Hlophe registered her non-profit in 2007 and started the food garden. However, she did not have sufficient funds or skills to maintain the garden. Checkers then assisted Hlophe and since then, her non-profit is thriving. 

Hlophe’s kitchen has since been upgraded and the Yenzanathi team collects surplus food from Hillcrest Checkers where the local produce will be sold on Friday. 

Yenzanathi has grown tremendously and now has 37 members from the Botha’s Hill community who volunteer and benefit approximately 257 people daily. 

According to Hlophe, Durban is looking forward to the interaction with a large 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”, said Hlophe. 

Hlophe added that the proceeds will go towards children who mostly live in child-headed homes. 

Meanwhile, the participants in the community food garden said that they are also excited by this opportunity. 

Kenneth Sibiya who is the participant from the Suthani Community Garden from Alexandra, Johannesburg said: “We’re very excited about this opportunity as it is a great way for us to market our garden”. 

Notably, Kenneth is one of the four pensioners who started Suthani (Isizulu for “well-fed”). 

With the support from Shoprite, the garden now grows enough crop 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”, adds Sibiya. 

The Shoprite group encourages individuals to support this initiative this Friday which hopes to raise sufficient funds for the poverty-stricken and underprivileged communities. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE