The Woolworths Foods head office team recently handed over a brand new kitchen and dining area to Athwood Primary School learners and educators.  The project, in partnership with Newkidz, was funded by Woolies Foods’ head office team who raised R240 000 doing various innovative fund raising projects as part of the retailer’s Just Cause employee volunteer programme.


The renovation included transforming a container into a functional kitchen with all the necessary equipment as well as the enclosure of a courtyard with roofing and seating to create a protected canteen area for the learners.  The Woolies Foods team not only funded the project but also offered their hands and sweat to the renovation by painting the classroom that had previously been used as a kitchen into an art and crafts room as well as painting a mural in the courtyard area.  Their effort is part of the Just Cause employee volunteer initiative that brings Woolies employees together and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. 


“The Covid 19 pandemic threw us a few curve balls but we are delighted to be able to handover a fully kitted kitchen to Athwood Primary School’s principal Mr Evan Petersen and learners.  We received lots of great proposals from our colleagues for this last year’s Just Cause project so it wasn’t easy for our Diversity Committee to choose Athwood Primary School. But being Foodies we couldn’t resist the opportunity to design and build Athwood Primary School’s kitchen and dining area for the learners to enjoy their meals.  A huge thanks to Newkidz for all their assistance as we could never have taken on such a comprehensive project without their support and expertise,” says Marisa Munroe Woolworths Foods.


Athwood Primary School has been operating as a ‘no fees’ school for 42 years with minimal government funding so is reliant on fundraising projects and donations.  There are 600 learners enrolled but with social distancing learners attend every alternative day so there are approximately 300 learners on site per day.  These learners are fed two meals a day from a make shift kitchen which last year was deemed as being ‘not fit for use’.    


 “Thank you Woolworths and Newkidz, the kitchen and seating area looks amazing!  I have no doubt that this new facility will inspire our cooks to prepare delicious wholesome meals for our learners.  This facility is proof that through education we can improve the lives of our staff, learners and broader community,” comments Mr Evan Petersen, Principal of Athwood Primary School.


Just Cause is part of the Woolworths Employee Community Involvement Programme that encourages clusters of Woolies employees to identify and propose a community cause that they will support through fund-raising.  As an added incentive, the Woolworths Trust matches funds raised up to R40 000 for a Just Cause.  Since the programme’s inception, over

R6 million has been raised by the Woolworths Just Cause initiative, which has been invested in 72 worthy causes across the country that were identified by Woolies employees from head office and local stores.