In commemoration of this year’s World Food Day and its call to action for sustainable food systems worldwide, a dedicated group of Woolworths employees from Palmyra, Kromboom and Milner Road stores volunteered their muscles to pack food provisions at FoodForward SA’s warehouse in Nerissa Estate, Cape Town. 

Together, they worked tirelessly to pack food provisions for the 19 beneficiary organisations located in Worcester who are part of FoodForward’s mobile rural depot programme. Of the 19 beneficiaries in Worcester, 6 are old age homes, 4 are disability centres, 3 are shelters, 2 are skills centres and 4 are Early Childhood Development organisations. 

Over 5 years ago in recognition of the vital work that FoodForward SA does, Woolworths partnered with FoodForward SA and the retailer part funds their mobile rural development programme.  The programme delivers monthly food provisions in refrigerated trucks to 34 rural communities across all nine provinces.

Reflecting on the experience, Lee Ann Baatjies Store Admin Manager of Woolworths’ Palmyra store said, “It was a remarkable opportunity for us to visit FoodForward SA’s warehouse, witness the great work they do in the redistribution of excess food and lend a hand to their mobile rural development programme.  It was truly an inspiring ‘day in the office’ for all of us.”

Acknowledged on 16 October, this year’s World Food Day theme is to ‘Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind,’ emphasises the urgency of not wasting food and calls for all of us to go out into our communities to help build a sustainable world for everyone and everywhere to ensure regular access to enough nutritious food.  A #zerohunger world by 2030. Woolworths aligns itself with the UN Food and Agricultural mandate to ‘Leave No One Behind’ and is a long-standing advocate for eradicating hunger in South Africa.  Over the past year, the retailer has allocated R 5.6 million in donations to organisations that are empowering communities to grow more food or improving access to food like FoodForward SA and has donated 11,325 tonnes of surplus food to 890 charities nationwide directly from its stores.

Zinzi Mgolodela, Woolworths Corporate Affairs Director affirmed.” For many years, Woolworths has been steadfast in its commitment to making a positive and sustainable impact on alleviating hunger in South Africa. We firmly believe that food security and access to food are fundamental human rights. Our ongoing support for organisations like FoodForward South Africa underscores our dedication to enabling communities across South Africa to thrive and become self-reliant in their food production efforts.”

By joining hands with FoodForward SA to commemorate World Food Day, Woolworths employees exemplify the collective effort needed to foster food security and sustainable livelihoods in communities that need it most. Together, they are making strides towards a #zerohunger world by 2030, embodying the spirit of compassion and empowerment that lies at the heart of this global movement.