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Food Lover’s Market in the Local Community

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Did you know that each Food Lover’s Market store supports a local child-centric organisation?

Food Lover’s Market partners with a children’s non-profit organisation (NPO) within a 10 km radius of the store to provide nutritious fresh produce and groceries to those who need it most. Through these partnerships, we feed over 10 000 children every month.

Says Kate Marais – CSI Facilitator for the Food Lover’s Market Group, “Food Lover’s Market is a family business and we believe a child is at the heartbeat of a family. For this reason, we are proactively playing our part to look after future generations and to ensure that they’re not malnourished. By ensuring that vulnerable kids are nourished, we give them a better opportunity in life. The old adage applies: A hungry child cannot learn.”

An example of this initiative is the Leliebloem House in Crawford, which is twinned with Food Lover’s Market Access Park. Alex, the store manager, donates fresh fruit and vegetables to the NPO, which is home to 60 children between the ages of 4 and 18.  These relationships between store and NPO have a huge impact on the children that receive the produce and alleviates the pressure on the beneficiary organisations, ensuring that they can use their limited funds for other needs.

“Government grants only account for approximately 20% of the NPO’s funding needs and it then falls to the organisation to raise the balance of the funds needed to sustain the charity. With over 200 000 registered NPO’s in South Africa, most South Africans suffer donation fatigue and it becomes hard to raise the money needed. That is why it’s so important for business to get involved – especially on a community level,” continues Marais.

Some examples of NPO’s benefiting from Food Lover’s Market’s beneficiary programme nationally include:

  • Durban Children’s Home supported by Food Lover’s Market Westwood in Durban
  • Kayalethu supported by Food Lover’s Market Metlife in Port Elizabeth
  • Johannesburg Care supported by Food Lover’s Market Hillfox in Johannesburg.

These organisations are vetted and researched, before a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed – usually for an initial year.

Store budgets to support a local NPO is dependent on the size of the store and the process of collecting food is as simple as the NPO mailing the store a shopping list, which they will then collect. Fresh produce is usually ordered every other week, while dry goods such as pasta, rice and tinned foods are collected on a monthly basis.

This however does not prevent the store from supporting other local organisations, such as schools and old age homes. It is usually at the discretion of the store manager, who has autonomy to decide which local organisations to support on an ad-hoc basis.

Food Lover’s Market Group Holdings also supports the NPO, Sporting Chance. This organisation, which has been operating for 29 years, offers sporting programmes for children in townships.

“It doesn’t have to be daunting to support a local NPO. Simply identify an organisation in need and do the research, visit the organisation and form a relationship. If you can’t give money, you can give time or get involved as a social media activist. There are many ways to help.”

Concludes Marais, “You can’t solve the world’s problems, but you can start with one person”.

 

Ryan O Connor visit the local charity in Durbanville, check it out here:

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