Driven by a passion to provide the young children in her care with nutritious meals, Mookho Pitso established the Hola Le Rona Integrated Educare Centre food garden in Phuthaditjhaba, in the Free State, in 2001.
Fast forward 20 years and the garden – with support from Shoprite – provides two wholesome, daily meals to more than 150 children.
In line with the Shoprite Group’s focus to invest in food security and nutrition in South African communities, the retailer partnered with the Hola Le Rona Integrated Educare Centre food garden in February 2020.
The garden helps to supplement the feeding scheme at the day-care centre, ensuring that the children’s meals are packed with veggies like spinach, carrots and beetroot.
“The seedlings, fruit trees, tools and training received from Shoprite have helped us a lot,” explains Mookho.
She explains that thanks to the ongoing permaculture workshops they’ve been able to increase their yield: “We’re now able to grow even more vegetables than before and the surplus produce, which is not used in the children’s meals, can be sold to the community.”
The food garden supervisor Treasure Mohlape echoes these sentiments: “The community loves buying directly from us, because our vegetables are so fresh. As we learn more, we are doing things differently for the following harvest.”
Treasure is passionate about working the land and dreams of one day selling their surplus produce to Shoprite.
Shoprite has been supporting food gardens across South Africa since 2015 and has partnered with more than 130 community food gardens and 675 home gardens and these have benefited more than 32 000 people.