Journey's End kickstarts new beginnings in pandemic

“Impoverished communities are confronted by various threats: illness, disability, safety, hunger and many others. If we can provide a daily meal to these people, we have at least taken care of that aspect, which means they can focus on the rest,” says Rollo Gabb, Managing Director of Journey’s End Wines, and now also of The Journey’s End Foundation, the latest community project from this Somerset West-based winery initiated largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant unemployment.

The Journey’s End Foundation has set up a network of Soup Kitchens in the Helderberg Region east of Stellenbosch, and has initially committed to providing 8,000 meals per week for 52 weeks, with a target of achieving 10,000 meals per week by the end of October 2020.

Rollo Gabb explains: “The South African economy continues to be very badly affected by Covid 19, and the Western Cape in particular has been hit by zero international tourism and a severely restricted hospitality sector. With very little government support many families are now unable to bring any food to the table and starvation in the Cape is a real risk. It has been reported that some 20,000 people in the greater Stellenbosch region alone are at risk of hunger.

“We completed the set-up of the Journey’s End Foundation earlier this month realising we needed to move fast. Journey’s End has committed funds to provide food for just over 400,000 meals through a network of nine Soup Kitchens over the coming 12 months. The Journey’s End team is working to develop this network to facilitate 10,000 meals per week by the end of October.”

For many years, Journey’s End has placed a strong focus on supporting the winery’s local community, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. As well as providing employment at the winery, the team works closely with community heads to channel resources into a number of development programmes which included the building of a new school hall for the local school in Sir Lowry’s Pass village.

But these 9 soup kitchens are spread further afield, feeding more than just the Sir Lowry’s Pass locals. They are run by women volunteers in the community who are supplied with ingredients every week. “Each soup kitchen feeds a different number of people, so each week, the women send us a shopping list which includes food items such as chicken, stock cubes and vegetables, but we also have to supply things like gas and cooking utensils. No money exchanges hands, just the essentials to make food. These are then delivered by our employees using the farm’s vehicles.”

While this meets an immediate and pressing need, Gabb is open to developing their contribution as the needs arise. “Already we have cleared a few hectares on the farm to plant vegetables which will be used to make soup,” he explains, “but we also aim to teach people in the community about gardening so that they can start their own vegetable gardens.

In setting up the Foundation, they have worked closely with Hettie Orffer, CEO and Developer of the ‘Beat the Bully’ programme – another programme funded exclusively by Journeys End, which focuses on eradicating bullying in the Cape townships through education and intervention.

For more details about The Journey’s End Foundation please email

CAPTION ABOVE: The team running the soup kitchens - Front row - Nomama Hendrick aka Mienkie, Wendy Wynand (JE Foundation Director), Elsie Capuka and Veronica Williams. Back row: Cemelia Malan aka Mila, Hettie Orffer from the Youth4Life/Beat the Bully Team, Joyce Flaunder and Rachel Davids

Journey’s End Vineyards, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West 7130

Tel: 021 858 1929 · Email: ·

Twitter: @JourneysEndWine · Instagram: @journeysendwines

- Blog by Julia Moore