In a heartwarming display of Easter spirit, Pick n Pay brought joy to the young and the elderly today.

Every year, the retailer mobilises teams to ensure communities experience the joy of holidays. This Easter was no exception, as a visit to an old age home and an early childhood development center in Cape Town brought eggcitement to all ages, with donations worth over R40,000 aimed at delivering cheer and improving lives.

The initiative spearheaded by Pick n Pay asap! and the Feed the Nation Foundation saw teams visit Kensington Home For The Aged to surprise nearly 100 elderly people, many grappling with dementia, with dignity packs, Easter treats and entertainment. The aim was to deliver essential goods and provide respite and happiness to the elderly residents.

The home shared that singing and dancing calm the residents and spark memories, enhancing their joy. As the residents indulged in hot cross buns, Easter eggs, and refreshments, local singer Thembi Dunjana entertained them. Adding to the jubilant atmosphere was the beloved Pick n Pay asap! bunny mascot, who danced and interacted with residents, bringing smiles and laughter to all.

Mona Angers, the Home’s General Manager, shared that the 92 residents always welcome a treat. "Some of the residents are frail and have dementia, and many have no family involvement. The visit brought immense joy, love, and kindness, and they really enjoyed the asap! mascot," she said.

"They love sweet things; we ratio them obviously, but they love it. We really appreciate the visit to make a difference with some little Easter luxuries in the lives of these elderly people, which, due to budgetary constraints, we are not always able to do."

"This has been my only job, and I have been doing it for 38 years, and I am thankful for people raising the older generation. You have joined us in the plight of raising the older generation. The struggle can be real, but we are blessed so much thanks to people like you," Angers said, thanking the Pick n Pay asap! and Feed the Nation Foundation teams.

Each resident received a dignity pack containing essential items like toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and more, providing much-needed care. "We are often asked what we need for residents, and the answer is toiletries and sweet luxury treats. Some families default on payments, causing budgetary constraints. The products in the dignity bags will keep our store room stocked for three months," says Angers, explaining that the donation will allow the home to redirect resources where needed.

She elaborated on the home's approach to managing donated toiletries, ensuring they are distributed effectively among residents. "We take in the donated stock for some residents as sometimes they sell it off for as little as R10. Every Friday, or whenever they need them, we issue a fresh consignment of toiletries," says Angers.  

At the event, Pick n Pay asap! and Feed the Nation Foundation - a public benefit organisation Pick n Pay helped found during the pandemic to focus on providing nutrient-dense food parcels to the most vulnerable - also handed over a bulk food donation valued at R5,000 and a R5,000 gift card to Kensington Home For The Aged for any additional essentials.

Continuing their mission, the Pick n Pay team then visited BABS - Build A Better Society ECD - in Athlone, which empowers communities on the Cape Flats with skills to enhance their quality of life. Around 40 children aged between four and six were surprised by the asap! bunny, who organised a fun Easter egg hunt. Two lucky children found special asap! crochet bunnies and received an R500 gift card each.

The afternoon concluded with a hot cross bun, and each child received a PnP Easter Egg bag filled with more Easter treats and snacks.

"These children come from a disadvantaged community, so having a visit like this allowed them to participate in an Easter egg hunt, which they may not experience at home due to poverty," said Jo-anne Wilson, Director for BABS Educare.  "It was a wonderful surprise we were selected for this initiative, as it is great to have exposure for the work we do in a gang-infested area, where we need to be more vigilant and attentive to these children’s needs to allow them to fulfil their potential. Engaging with the big (asap!) bunny figure also helps build their self-esteem."

Wilson was brought to tears when presented with an R5,000 grocery donation from Feed the Nation Foundation and an R5,000 gift card from Pick n Pay asap!

"It’s tears of joy because you don’t know how much we need this just to survive at this stage," says Wilson. "We get a certain amount of money in, and then we have to spend the money on food as well. We really need the food as we cook balanced meals every day for the children. The R5,000 we got will be very helpful for the rest of April as we spend around R17,000 a month on food. It is a big help, as with the extra money we get from the subsidy, we can fix other things, like the lights or the windows.

Through initiatives like this, Pick n Pay reaffirms its commitment to making a positive difference in communities. Vincent Viviers, Co-Head: Omnichannel at Pick n Pay, says they were happy to deliver Easter joy to more communities this year. "Witnessing the smiles and excitement among the elderly and children was a touching reminder of the power of kindness and compassion, particularly during festive occasions."

"At Feed the Nation, we serve as a vital link to alleviate the daily struggles of those who face food insecurity. Collaborating with partners enables us to bring tangible relief to communities, particularly during festive occasions like Easter, when many individuals may otherwise go unnoticed," shares Vaughan Pierce, trustee of Feed the Nation Foundation.

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