The objectives of the Work. Learn. Grow programme are to establish a practical approach to operationalising localised food economies based on local agency and small enterprises that have been successfully tested and documented in place-based initiatives in three provinces. This is so as to address the fragility, inequalities and limits in South African food system which became evident during the COVID-19 lockdown. In practice this means facilitating greater local sourcing of food for distribution through a variety of channels in ways that support local livelihoods and enhance local agency in the food system, to increase effective access for urban, peri-urban and rural consumers to safe, fresh and healthy food produced by household and small-scale farmers and fishers in ecologically sustainable ways. The project develops and implements appropriate protocols for food safety, food handling and human safety to accommodate the pandemic and basic food safety standards.