The dignity of choice

It’s impossible to know how many people are now receiving food aid of some form in South Africa. Between countless soup kitchens, the innumerable NGOs, churches and community action networks providing food parcels along with government’s late-to-the-game food parcels, millions upon millions of hungry people are receiving food. 

Much of food aid is happening at a very local level. In some of our nation’s poorest communities, veggie gardens supply the bulk of what goes into giant pots to feed long snaking queues of the hungriest who lack even the means to cook their own food and eat simply to queue another day. 

A next level up, so to speak, happens with the provision of food parcels whereby a family representative collects a weekly parcel and then determines how and when that food will be prepared and eaten. The benefit of the food parcel approach is that through bulk orders, donor organisations are able to purchase greater quantities of food more affordably. Recipients of such parcels need a means of preparing these items, some of which necessitate long cooking times (for example beans, lentils, mealie meal and root vegetables). 

More recently, digital vouchers have been introduced by some organisations as a means of added dignity enabling recipients to choose what they buy (and in some cases, from whom). 

Two such examples include:

  • Shoprite/Checkers/uSave vouchers

    The Shoprite Group via its affiliate Computicket has launched virtual vouchers which can be redeemed at any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave supermarket nationwide.

    The virtual vouchers are sent via SMS to a recipient’s mobile phone at a cost of R9,99. 

    Click here for more information.
  • Grow Great vouchers

    Developed by the DG Murray Trust in partnership with Grow Great, this virtual voucher is redeemable via cellphone for any goods sold in spaza shops, but is strongly associated with communication of the ten ‘best buys’ of affordable nutritious foods. 

    Click here for more information.

We would like to catalogue other available vouchers on this post. If you have information pertaining to such vouchers, kindly email