File picture: Makers Valley / Back-a-buddy.
File picture: Makers Valley / Back-a-buddy.

Makers Valley project feeds those in need while supporting Spaza shops

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 23, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Makers Valley Partnership, a non-profit organisation in Johannesburg, has devised an innovative way to distribute much-needed food parcels to those that need them most in inner-city Joburg, while also strengthening the local economy.

Here’s how it works: People in need are identified by local community workers and partner organisations who have long-standing networks and relationships in the area. 

Each person identified receives an electronic voucher on their phone (no airtime or data is needed), which can be redeemed at the nearest participating Spaza shop. This entitles the recipient to a parcel containing food, basic toiletries and sanitary supplies. These packages were developed in conjunction with a nutritionist and participating spaza shop owners. According to Makers Valley, shop owners receive payment electronically for each parcel they distribute.

“By using cell phone technology and the local shops, there is no need to visit homes and no money changes hands,” says Makers Valley Partnership. 

“This model also prevents large crowds gathering at distribution points.

“In addition, by using vouchers redeemable at local Spaza shops, we are utilising – rather than reinventing - existing distribution channels and strengthening the local economy for the future.”

This project will provide the aforementioned basic supplies to people in urgent need both during the lockdown and also as it slowly eases. 

Click here to find out more, and make a donation, via the organisation's Back-a-Buddy campaign page. 

You can also follow them on Facebook.


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