3 November 2023

The Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s food garden in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, has received a donation of 3.2 million seeds donated by the Shoprite Group’s Act for Change initiative in partnership with Starke Ayres.

This follows a six-month dry harvest season at the garden, which has been an essential resource for the hospital, providing not only sustenance but also therapy and skills development for patients on their journey to recovery.

“The garden has worked wonders for the hospital’s patients, reintegrating many patients back into society. As we speak, two individuals are on the path to returning home, thanks to the therapy and skills they acquired through their work in the garden. During the dry harvest period, we were anxious that we might have to close, but you can now see the excitement and renewed vigor in our patients as we are back in full operation.” 

- Tony Khulule, the Production Manager of the food garden

A woman in a red apron holding a can of carrot seeds. The Shoprite Group’s Act for Change initiative in partnership with Starke Ayres donated 3.2 million seeds to the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s food garden in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.

Established in 2015 by the Spring Foundation, this garden is part of the Shoprite Group’s community food garden programme. Over the past year alone its garden programme has provided 2 580 community members with training, resulting in over 1 million meals since inception, indirectly impacting 61 064 beneficiaries.

The donation to Lentegeur includes a diverse array of crops – ranging from baby spinach and carrots to Swiss chard, beetroot and cabbage – to ensure a consistent and healthy harvest throughout the year, reflecting the Group’s commitment to empowering self-reliance and fostering resilient communities.

“The management and clinical team are deeply appreciative of the significant investment being dedicated to the rehabilitation and healing of our clients. The dedicated staff at Lentegeur Hospital are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring the well-being and successful reintegration of our clients into society, aiming to move away from a model of institutionalization. This project holds the promise of enhancing our clients' overall well-being and equipping them with the necessary tools to become productive and contributing members of society. We encourage the private sector to join us in supporting the recovery and reintegration of these rehabilitated individuals, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate community for all,” says Warren Caesar, CEO of Lentegeur Hospital.

“We aspire to see the garden continue to aid in the patients’ recovery process, while yielding abundant harvests and leaving a lasting impact on the community’s capacity to sustain itself.” 

- Sanjeev Raghubir, Head of CSI and Sustainability at the Group