As of 13 May, every country on the African continent had recorded a confirmed case of infection with the coronavirus. The resulting strict lockdown measures and social distancing precautions necessary to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a profound impact on many African markets in which SPAR operates. During times of crisis, it is vital to appreciate our shared humanity and support those in need in whatever way possible. As a worldwide brand operating across 48 countries on four continents, SPAR’s ethos of better together forms a solid foundation for everything we do.
In Africa, SPAR retailers play an essential role in their respective communities. Local SPAR retailers provide not only a wide and reliable assortment of grocery products – high in both quality and value – but they often also actively contribute to local initiatives, seeking to better nutritional status, educational standards, and gender equality, among other aspects.
In South Africa, a partnership between SPAR and the NGO Operation Hunger saw 3,000 less fortunate families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Gauteng Province receive much-needed food parcels. As part of the #FeedaFamily Campaign, the food hampers were distributed to families in Alexander, Cosmo City, Honeydew, Katlehong, Rondebult, Tembisa, and Vanderbijl between 25 and 29 May.
The hampers included staple food items and are a vital support in fighting the increase of food insecurity and malnutrition exacerbated by the outbreak of the coronavirus. A group of volunteers and SPAR employees packed the food parcels and during distribution, provided beneficiaries with community-based educational training on COVID-19.
Beyond ensuring a safe and comfortable shopping environment instore, SPAR retailers in Africa have also launched diverse initiatives to ensure communities could continue being able to access their daily groceries.
SPAR Zimbabwe in June contracted community development groups to make reusable, washable face masks. Working from home, the women of these community projects produced 1,000 masks, which were distributed to people in need in the densely populated suburbs of Mbare, Chtinugwiza, and Mabvuku.
This community outreach not only benefited the health and safety of shoppers and store team members but also helped create a source of income for the women involved in making the masks. SPAR Zimbabwe has since received numerous enquiries for face masks that they have been able to pass on to these community initiatives.
Recognising that many vulnerable and elderly shoppers do not wish to enter a busy supermarket, SPAR Botswana established a call-and-collect service available at their 34 stores across the country.
In the capital city, the SPAR Supermarket located in the Gaborone West Shopping Mall launched an app – #myfoodnessapp – with which customers living within a 10km radius can order and pay online for groceries for no-contact home delivery.
SPAR retailers continue to set an exemplary standard in serving their respective communities by providing shoppers with their daily necessities in a safe and convenient environment. In these times of change, these initiatives exemplify how SPAR retailers maintain the ethos of better together and values of community and support.