Food Security

Gardens, Soup Kitchens & Food Distribution

COVID-19 Food Relief

During 2020/early 2021 our club’s Covid-19 Committee, under the leadership of Andrew Finn, focused on first response humanitarian food aid for the greater Knysna area. We distributed 9 300 food parcels and vouchers and we supported 18 local soup kitchens with weekly deliveries of grocery hampers for a period of 23 weeks. However, we were well aware that, while this type of immediate assistance was necessary for our town with its tourist-based economy decimated during strict lockdown, it was certainly not a long term solution for food security. We therefore formed a subcommittee to investigate the establishment of food gardens in disadvantaged areas.


Seed of Hope

 The Seed of Hope food garden is an initiative of local NPO Knysna Methodist Outreach, working in partnership with the Rotary Club of Knysna, with our club acting as the primary sponsor for the project. We appointed local food gardening experts Growing Upwards NPO as the service provider to design, establish and monitor a 240m² organic food garden situated in Hornlee, Knysna.  The garden was planted on 14 July 2021.

The vision for the Seed of Hope is to:

  • Facilitate the development of a sustainable food garden that provides good nutrition for the vulnerable.
  • Promote community ownership and involvement in the garden.
  • Identify and mentor project leaders from the community.
  • Offer a training programme that includes entrepreneurship development, to equip people with the necessary skills to start and sustain their own gardens, as well as to generate an income.

Key to the sustainability any community gardening project is the transfer of necessary skills. With  sponsorship and support from our club and input from Teen Entrepreneur, Growing Upwards has developed a two day training curriculum. Coursework focuses on both food gardening skills and entrepreneurial development specifically relating to food gardens. The Growing Upwards Gardening Training Manual and the Growing Upwards Entrepreneurial Skills Training Manual are available in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.

A pilot training course was held at the end of September 2021 and we were delighted to welcome 12 delegates – all passionate community gardeners. Our goal for 2022 is to expand the training programme to reach a wider audience within the greater Knysna area. Training courses were held in March and May 2022 and will be ongoing.

For more information please click on the link below:

Seed of Hope

Updated 29 May 2022