Food Voucher Programme starts in the Helderberg

City and partners introduce Food Voucher Programme

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the Broccoli Project and Pick n Pay, today launched the highly anticipated Food Voucher Programme – an incentive for donors to give responsibly and recipients to purchase responsibly. The vouchers are designed to substitute cash handouts to street people, and can be redeemed at any Pick n Pay for essential basic goods, with the exception of cigarettes, alcohol or other harmful substances.

“The City has lent its full support to this project and we are proud to be associated with this innovative and entrepreneurial project,” said the City’s Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed.

Co-founder and CEO of The Broccoli Project, MarcAnthony Zimmermann, says the project addresses the concerns of members of the public who want to give donations to uplift those less fortunate, but are worried that cash donations will be misused.

“There is a high level of ‘donor fatigue’ amongst even the most philanthropic of citizens. They are concerned about giving without seeing the results of their donations, and knowing whether these results are in fact positive. For this reason, we envisaged a completely transparent process, where 100% of the funds actually benefit the underprivileged. After doing the basic research and creating the system, we approached Pick n Pay for assistance and guidance on the best means of distributing the vouchers to the public. Needless to say, the response we received was fantastic, and we are delighted that Pick n Pay has chosen to partner us on this project,” said Zimmermann.

The Food Vouchers will only be available from participating Pick n Pay stores, at a cost of R50.00 for a pack of five R10.00 vouchers, and Pick n Pay will cover the admin fee of the voucher process, which means that donors can rest assured that the recipient enjoys the full value of the donation. The vouchers can all be validated and tracked online and donors can log in to see when and where the voucher was redeemed.

“The Broccoli Project’s aims are aligned with the City’s philosophy of giving responsibly. For this reason, the City is in the process of creating a link between the Broccoli Project and our own ‘Give Responsibly’ campaign, which encourages residents and visitors to purchase vouchers instead of giving cash handouts to street people,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development, Councillor Grant Pascoe.

According to Suzanne Ackerman, Head of Transformation at Pick n Pay, the programme speaks directly to the Company’s culture of serving the communities in which it operates. “Since the inception of Pick n Pay some 43 years ago our focus has been the uplifting of those less fortunate. Through this platform members of the public will be able to give to those in need in a way that is both responsible and sustainable. There are so many people who would like to do something for the underprivileged, but don’t know where to start. This programme simplifies the process, with the added benefit of knowing that donations will be used responsibly. We are proud to be associated with this very worthwhile initiative.”

Background on the ‘Give Responsibly’ Campaign

The City’s ‘Give Responsibly’ campaign discourages residents and visitors from giving handouts to street people, urging them to instead give vouchers or make donations to NGOs like the Broccoli Project, who have made it their mission to reintegrate street people into society.

Cape Town’s street people are often caught in a cycle of substance dependency, unemployment and poverty from which they cannot escape. The City’s Social Development Department works with a wide range of NGOs to provide street people with a new start in life. Through expert programmes that have a proven record of success, the City and various organisations assess, support and help to reintegrate street people into their communities of origin and reunite them with their families. Once someone has chosen to make a new start, they are given the support and skills needed to stay off the streets – permanently.

For the ‘Give Responsibly’ campaign to succeed, residents and visitors must refrain from giving street people handouts. This only helps to sustain and encourage their life on the streets. Instead, they should invest in vouchers from the City’s various partners.

Background on the Broccoli Project

The Broccoli Project is a Cape Town-based social enterprise which encourages the poor to attend skills-training workshops in exchange for food vouchers and shelter. After winning the Cape Town Entrepreneurship Competition, the project gained recognition by taking home second prize at the 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Competition, despite stiff competition from 24 other international finalists. During the competition, the project also received the Jury Prize, which means it was rated as having the highest social value.

Later that year, under the direction of Mansoor Mohamed, the Broccoli Project participated in the World Economic Forum Meeting of Annual Champions in Dalian, resulting in the receipt of a $10,000 grant from the Italian-based InterAcademy panel on International Issues.


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