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Food Sustainability For Our Fund’s Communities

  • 4 March 2024
  • 4 min read

The Futuregrowth Community Property Fund has invested in township and rural shopping centres for more than 25 years. The objectives of the Fund are both commercial and social.

The community surrounding the Fund’s shopping centres benefits through increased employment opportunities and access to a wide range of quality shopping facilities and commercial services. Each shopping centre is a catalyst for the development of municipal infrastructure in the area and the enhancement of transport infrastructure. Various community initiatives are also implemented by the centres, to enhance their social impact in the surrounding area.

Food security project launched in the Dennilton community

In August 2023 a pilot project, focusing on improving food security through community and school food gardens, was launched in Dennilton, Limpopo in partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (“Food & Trees”) - a leading development, non-profit organisation with over 32 years of experience in this field.

The food gardens serve as a sustainable means to equip communities with vital skills, while addressing the issue of access to food. Food & Trees’ hands-on approach encompasses knowledge sharing, administration, and identifying key human resources to in the community to maintain the programme.

Food & Trees conducted assessments on existing gardens in communities surrounding the Fund’s shopping centres to evaluate their viability and the readiness of the community to embrace the project.

This initiative aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 1.

Sibisi Primary School, located within 6.6km of Moutse Mall in Dennilton was selected for the pilot project. At the opening, with a group of 50 community members in attendance, the project's objectives and its potential impact on the community highlighted, followed by an interactive educational session and planting session.

Tersia Venter, on the ground Food & Trees Ecopreneur & Facilitator said: “The launch was a tremendous success, as we managed to plant approximately 1 000 seedlings and prepare raised beds for our upcoming crops. We are absolutely thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive attitude displayed by the community members. Their commitment to tackling food insecurity and uplifting livelihoods is truly inspiring. It's an exciting time for us as we witness this intangible sense of dedication taking root within the community."

Rollout to other communities

The produce from the garden is currently used in Sibisi Primary School’s feeding scheme, and any surplus is sold to purchase additional supplies for further investment back into the garden.

The three-month pilot project concluded at the end of October 2023. An assessment, compiled by Food & Trees, measured the success of the initial intervention, and provided recommendations for further support of the garden. The project will be implemented in additional communities surrounding the Fund’s shopping centres, drawing on the insights gained from the pilot programme.

View subsequent projects at the Fund’s Eyethu Orange Farm Mall here.

Tags: Sustainable Finance Community Property Fund Community Development

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