No matter your dreams, big or small, they’ll be harder to achieve on an empty stomach.
We are Ready to Eat Now!
Through REN Hockey we aim to bring a variety of Exercise and Educational opportunities to our township communities. We have dreams to empower our families, but to make this possible we realize we need quality food to feed our bodies.
Townships are food deserts; this means healthful and affordable food is limited due to income or having to travel long distances. As a result, families living in food deserts are at higher risk for diet related diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While research on this topic is more available in my home country, America, we can see the relationships between these American cities and our South African township communities.
For more information on food deserts: https://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/food-deserts-definition/
To address the deeply rooted inequality that exists in South Africa, it was clear that sport alone would not be enough. While hockey is exciting and has brought us together, not every home is able to replenish the extra calories burned during training. As the pandemic continues to increase the costs of basic necessities and cut the salaries of our families and friends, food insecurity is an obvious concern.
We have been learning to build urban farms from recycled materials. We visit our homes to see the challenges each home presents. Many homes, particularly those in dense township communities do not have open space to plant in the ground. Some homes have some ground space outside, but often the soil is not ideal for growing food; it is sandy, rocky and years of trash can be found within its layers.
At some homes we are using compost to bring life back to the soil. Where this isn’t possible, we are finding ways to recycle materials around the community to build farms. Tires and thick bags are being reused as pots to plant in. At others, we are using recycled materials, 2 – 5 liter bottles and plywood, to grow food vertically. Currently we have two urban farms in progress where we are growing tomatoes, peppers, spinach, potatoes and green beans! Our aim is not only to build these farms, but to empower our youth to maintain and expand them.
Coach Charné has taken the lead on this project. She has passionately researched methods for urban farming and taught herself how to build our first urban farms! She has created the foundation for our families to build upon as we grow this project (and lots of food) together!
We are REN Hockey, and we are Ready to Eat Now!