As a South African retailer, we are faced with complex social challenges, and we believe in the power of collaboration to make a real difference. Every programme or initiative we launch requires us to work with one or more of our partners or suppliers. 
We follow this approach in every country in which we operate, and ensure we tailor the way we do things to its specific social context.

In South Africa, our social development efforts are overseen by the Woolworths Trust. Established in 2003, The Woolworths Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees, and reports to the WHL Social and Ethics Committee.



As a business, we believe in contributing to an inclusive, equitable, growing economy that is powered by a skilled and educated workforce. 

For Our Learners: 

Since 2014, The Woolworths Trust has donated R18 million to the National Education Collaboration Trust [NECT], a partnership initiative involving government, business, labour and civil society to help rural, under-developed schools overcome massive challenges, improve their learning outcomes and enhance the lives of the most vulnerable learners in our communities. 

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MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet 

Aimed primarily towards fundraising for education, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet (MySchool) is a long-standing, multi-partner loyalty programme that also helps charities that support local communities, animals and the environment. MySchool leverages the national customer and school base of Woolworths and its other retail partners, enabling customers to use their shopping and loyalty cards to support schools and other charities.


Woolworths Educational Programme
This programme is one of the ways in which Woolworths uses its expertise in good food, healthy living, wellness and sustainability to support the upliftment of education, and the health and well-being of children at schools in South Africa. The programme provides teachers with a suite of educational content in Social Sciences and Life Skills, as well as experiential educational components that give us the opportunity to take learning beyond the walls of the classroom. These include our fun-filled online classes, CAPS-aligned lessons hosted by a professional presenter along with printed learning material that learners can access at a later stage. 

Food Security
With millions of people around the world struggling with access to food, it is tragic that 30% of the food produced globally goes to waste. As a food retailer, we recognise our important role in working towards a food-secure future. #zerohunger2030

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FoodFoward SA
For many years, Woolworths has worked with structured charity organisations to donate surplus food from food stores to communities who need the support. This contributes to the alleviation of hunger in local communities, as well as reduces food waste to landfill from our own operations. One of our key partners is FoodForward SA, a non-profit organisation that recovers edible surplus food at various stages of the food value chain to redistribute it to communities in need across the country. 

Living Soils Community Learning Farm
In partnership with Spier Wine Farm and the Sustainability Institute, we have launched a community learning farm near Stellenbosch. Together, we want to create a self-sustaining learning farm, and grow nutritious food using sustainable farming methods. Incorporating training and development for young and emerging farmers and the broader community, the learning farm has two main aims: the development of long-term food security in the local community, and helping address youth unemployment.

Woolworths also supports several organisations that work towards strengthening food security and alleviating hunger and poverty by providing skills and competencies in their respective communities.

ForAfrika’s Mangaung Food Security Programme aims to build a green economy, while strengthening food security in one of the oldest settlements of the Free State, Thaba Nchu.  

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INMED’s Adaptive Agriculture Programme focuses on addressing food security and improving nutrition among targeted youth in selected low-resource communities of Kroonstad and Bultfonte in the Free State province through the expansion of INMED Aquaponics® and climate-smart agriculture.

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Social Change Assistance Trust 
The Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT) is a veteran human rights and social justice organisation focused on vulnerable communities. SCAT provides support to community food gardening projects in Danielskuil and Pampierstad in the Northern Cape and Alicedale in the Eastern Cape, which are lacking the resources to expand and upscale their projects.

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Siyazisiza is a non-profit social development organisation that aims to create self-sufficient agricultural hubs or village-based farmer networks for smallholder community farmers to improve their livelihoods, strengthen food security and protect the environment. The focus of the Programme is on the youth.

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Thanda has been tirelessly working to strengthen food security and empower economically-vulnerable households in the Mtwalume community through its Organic Farming Initiative. Many families are living on small incomes received through social grants or pension, with only 9% of the population employed. The Initiative facilitates the production of high quality and abundant harvests, while being mindful of climate change and environmental impacts.

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Timbali aims to connect rural hard-working women farmers in the Nkomazi district to mainstream markets, creating an enabling environment to empower its beneficiaries to be more food secure.

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Employee Community Involvement
The main aim of this initiative is to encourage our employees to give back to their communities and foster a culture of giving. “Teaming up for Just Cause” is a programme that invites Woolies staff to choose a charitable cause that they can support. The selected cause receives seed funding to get started, and for every team that reaches its fundraising target, we match the figure by up to R40 000.


We also invite our customers to give back and raise funds for important conservation and sustainability related issues through the sale of products like our cause-related reusable shopping bags, Relate beaded chains, and monetary or in-kind donations at till points or online. 


Woolworths consistently donates more than R500 million annually in surplus food to those in need
Almost R800 million has been donated by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet since its inception