Community Food Gardens | Checkers

We #ActForChange
in Our Communities

At Checkers, we understand the importance of giving back to the local
communities in which we operate and pledge to plant a food garden in
every community we serve.

When communities flourish, everyone benefits. That’s why we are committed to growing and nurturing local communities – helping them to realise their full potential and ensuring a bountiful and prosperous future for all.

The communities we interact with daily through our stores are at the core of our business and their well-being affects our success.

Our corporate social investment programme is designed to support our communities through four distinctive focus areas to help them grow and prosper.

Community Gardens

“Knowledge is like a garden; if it is not cultivated,
it cannot be harvested”. – African Proverb

Our commitment to upliftment has led to the formation of numerous community garden projects across South Africa. These grassroots initiatives empower individuals and communities with the knowledge and skills needed to create sustainable gardens that feed the local community and generate income through sales of excess produce.

Khanyisa School for the Blind, Eastern Cape

In the Eastern Cape, we reached out to Khanyisa School for the Blind – a school for partially sighted and blind pupils from the Transkei, Ciskei and Mthatha areas to upgrade their small vegetable garden.

The upgrade, in partnership with Food and Trees for Africa, included better gardening tools, plant material, shade net structures and training workshops for school committee members. Garden beds were also raised and filled with fragranced herbs, making it easier for the children to actively enjoy the resource.

Learners at the Khanyisa School for the Blind in Port Elizabeth are planning to launch a range of aroma sachets and other scented products using fragrant herbs they grow in their food garden.

Checkers volunteers starting the sustainable garden at Iris House Children’s Hospice on Mandela Day.

Iris House Children’s Hospice, Western Cape

In the Western Cape, we’re working with Iris House Children’s Hospice to bring down food costs.

Together with Urban Harvest, we helped Iris House expand their garden and make it more sustainable, planting crops, assisting with equipment and training members of the surrounding community.

Produce harvested from this food garden now supplements not only meals cooked for the hospice’s special needs children, but garden boxes and earthworm farms too. These are given to parents, helping them create a sustainable food source at home.

Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Programme, KwaZulu-Natal

In KwaZulu-Natal, we’re working with Lydia Hlope and her team at Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Programme to feed the local community.

We first heard about the amazing work Lydia was doing in 2016. At the time, Lydia had a soup kitchen that provided food twice a week to 10 houses. With a more sustainable solution in mind, we partnered with Food and Trees for Africa to enhance and expand Yenzanathi’s existing vegetable garden, giving the community greater access to fresh produce for their soup kitchen.

Today, the garden provides food for over 250 people – and is maintained by its beneficiaries, who receive food to eat and the skills to maintain a sustainable food source.

Volunteers starting up the Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Programme in Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu-Natal.

Other Community Initiatives

Employees from Checkers’ Gauteng division have participated in multiple initiatives, including volunteering at the Community Crisis Centre in Reiger Park, assisting with the development of a food garden in Boksburg in partnership with Green Acre Living, as well as preparing the Ivory Park Food Garden in Midrand in collaboration with Food and Trees for Africa.

We’re also continuing to create sustainable food projects across South Africa, including Seed of Hope in KwaZulu-Natal, Tjhabelang Primary School in the Free State and Modimo O Teng Co-op in Gauteng.

We have partnered with the Lunchbox Fund who are committed to nurturing South Africa’s future leaders by ensuring that no child is kept from learning by hunger or household food insecurity.

Together Checkers did not pioneer the Lunch program, we are just a funding partner, we’ve pioneered lunch programmes in schools across the country. The partnership started in January 2016 and since then we've reached a total of over 300 000 meals served by hungry learners!

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