The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened food security for many in the Western Cape who are now unable to work and provide for their families. A group of Cape Town chefs have come together to make a difference by putting their skills to work and hosting a ‘soupathon’.
The ‘Soupathon 1000’ initiative is led by Wynand du Plessis, owner of Extreem Kwizeen and chefs are involved on a voluntary basis, with a goal to feed hungry residents in the Mother City.
The Daily Maverick reports that Du Plessis was inspired to start the initiative after driving past a camp for homeless people in Observatory at the beginning of lockdown. He got in touch with the Observatory Improvement District (OBSID) and soon started handing out spare soup he had in his freezer. From here, the soupathon initiative was born.
Since then, over 150 chefs have come together to reach the goal of producing 326 000 cups of soup a month. They cook the soup, then freeze it in one-litre recycled plastic tubs. The soup is then distributed in freezer bags containing 10 tubs. One tub of soup equals 1,5 litres once it is warmed up with 500ml added water.
On average, the non-profit feeds 31 575 people per week but aims to scale up and feed 81 500 people per week. About 46 240kg of fresh vegetables are processed by their volunteer chefs.
The initiative is based in Mowbray, and services various areas in Cape Town as well as outside like Springbok.
“Our distribution system started small by contacting the Observatory ward councillor and from there grew to more councillors. We now work through several ward councillors and they do distribution in conjunction with community members, to different areas in need to heat the frozen soup and serve it to the different communities,” one of the head chefs Evan Coosner told TimesLIVE.
– Volunteer: Chefs and people with cooking capabilities may volunteer their time and skills
– Produce: Farmers, store owners and sellers may get in touch to donate or sell their produce at a discounted rate