Poverty and hunger are rife within South Africa’s disadvantaged communities. The lack of sufficient urban land space jeopardises food security, and puts many disadvantaged community members in a situation where they cannot afford to feed themselves.

The disadvantaged mostly live in informal settlements, flats or informal backyard dwellings. It is not uncommon to see four different families sharing the same backyard, while such plots of land are usually not conducive for any kind of growing.

GrowBox aims to supply raised bed vegetable gardens – fully stocked with growth medium and vegetable seedlings – to the consumer with small or limited land space, thereby giving them the opportunity to grow their own food organically at their own home. Workshops will be given to vulnerable communities and school children with regard to sustainable food gardening techniques and eco-friendly gardening practises.

Support is needed to raise the funds for 2 x 20m polytunnels and irrigation to grow the vegetable seedlings in wholesale quantities, which will be sold to commercial farmers, retail nurseries and government entities. Additional machinery is also needed for manufacturing of the boxes.

GrowBox is a social enterprise and the brainchild of Renshia Manuel, a 35-year-old unemployed mother of four, who was growing vegetables in her own backyard to feed her family. Looking at her surrounding area of Hanover Park, Cape Town, she realised that many households were not as fortunate as she was to have open space available in order to grow. She wanted to do something that would empower and educate other mothers who were in the same situation, so that they too can grow and feed their families from their gardens.

Her aim is to raise R150 000 for the nursery that she wants to move from her backyard onto a vacant property nearby. The proceeds of this fundraiser will be used to purchase the 2 x 20m polytunnels, irrigation and machinery. She aims to employ and empower other unemployed mothers through the nursery by growing vegetable seedlings in larger quantities to be sold to retail nurseries, communal gardens and commercial farmers in and around the Cape Town area. – Press release

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