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Community Garden Gives a Hand Up to the Needy


At Food Lover’s Market, we love food. Everything about it, including the way it’s grown. And we love people. When you combine growing food with giving people a hand out of poverty, our love knows no limits!

That’s exactly what our FLM Roeland Street, Cape Town store has been doing. They have partnered with Khulisa Social Solutions who, through their Streetscapes Project, has been running a community garden on Food Lover’s Market’s land adjacent to the Roeland Street store.

The Streetscapes Project provides the homeless with personal development programmes and opportunities to earn an income in order to help reintegrate them into society, and this garden has been instrumental in changing people’s lives, many of whom are recovering from addictions. With a 67% success rate of moving people off the streets, that’s exactly what they have done.

Mariaan Rabie and her team at Roeland Street store have been instrumental in supporting Khulisa on this project, working with the programme participants on a daily basis to ensure they play a significant role in empowering the community. The benefits have also been felt by the store, especially when the garden has informal open days that attract people into the city centre at weekends who then pop into the store to pick up their groceries.

But do these types of initiatives actually create lasting social change? The answer is YES! So far, the Streetscapes Project results speak for themselves:

  • 86 people have been able to work full-time for 2-10 months and earn an income, many for the first time, and some of those who are ready have moved onto Phase 2 (Streetscapes’ social enterprises)
  • Increased attendance, which has improved from 65% in October 2015 to 78% in November 2016
  • 3,410 days worked in the garden
  • R 170,500 income earned by the chronic homeless.
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