Local soup kitchen initiative Ladles of Love is moving to rewrite the COVID-19 story in Cape Town, to be one of compassion and hope, where locals worked together to feed those in need. They aim to do this through their CT Loved campaign.
The number of hungry people in Cape Town is growing everyday and the volunteer-run soup kitchen Ladles of Love is doing all they can to keep bellies full.
Since the start of lockdown the organisation has provided 150-thousand cooked meals, over half a million sandwiches, 100-thousand boiled eggs and 110 tonnes of fresh produce to 77 NGOs.
The pandemic is now affecting more families and millions of people living in the Cape are hungry and in need of food and essentials.
“With no money for food or the chance to find work the situation for more and more Capetonians will get even worse over the coming weeks and months,” says Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto.
“Our CT Loved appeal is a massive call to action, to rally people who care, to donate money, food and essential items in the spirit of Ubuntu so that Ladles can broaden its reach to feed as many mouths as possible and contribute more to sustainable feeding schemes giving hope and food to the communities that need it most.”
Diliberto says the campaign is a chance for South Africans to be part of creating something positive, impactful and meaningful that can completely change the negative affects of the pandemic.
 “We need to get people behind this drive as our mission is to get millions of nutritious meals to communities safely and efficiently, providing a sense of relief and hope to the hungry for as long as we possibly can,” he adds.
Together we can re-write the COVID-19 story and change our memories of 2020 with stories of Cape Town’s compassion and love,” says Diliberto. “No one deserves to go hungry. Since Covid-19, we found ourselves having to serve more people. Therefore we are appealing to every South African to help us serve a million meals by simply donating R150, which will feed someone for a month.”
According to Diliberto, crisis can bring out both the best and the worst in people and each person has a choice to let it get to you or rise above it.
“Capetonians have already shown how big their hearts are both with monetary donations and our beautiful families, across the Peninsula, coming together making thousands of sandwiches daily. We are humbled how Ladles of Love has been able to bring people together and re-write the COVID-19 story in the spirit of Seva, a beautiful Sanskrit word meaning giving of yourself without expecting anything in return.”
Having said this, he points out that with communities needs increasing daily, the goal is now to get maximum food to beneficiaries via their growing NPO network.
“Firstly, we need to expand our Food Donation and Sandwich Drive, which has grown into a huge movement involving people from suburbs all over Cape Town making sandwiches and donating non-perishables. To date we have collected over 500,000 sandwiches to distribute to the hungry via our partner NPOs. We want to grow this initiative to 500 000 a month with the help of more individuals and families getting involved,”says Diliberto.
Secondly, with the help of generous donations Ladles can supply bulk produce to community NPO’s soup kitchens to provide nutritious meals regularly to their beneficiaries in volume.  
Ladles of Love has been able to broaden its reach to feed more hungry people by recently partnering with the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) which offered 1,500 sq. meters of space in the form of a temporary kitchen and a hall as a distribution centre to the volunteer led organisation to enable them to further expand their reach. This will serve as a temporary headquarters until 30 June 2020.  
“To us, it’s not just about feeding people, it’s also about the taste and the nutrition of the meals we make – all made with love,” Diliberto adds. “We want to thank everyone who is part of this campaign for showing SO much love, SO much compassion and kindness and making sure we can spread love, food and connection throughout The Mother City at this time and we look forward to as many people as possible joining the CT Loved campaign and getting involved, however they can,” he adds.
Those wishing to donate can go to www.ctloved.co.za
For more information visit the Ladles of Love Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages or go to https://www.ladlesoflove.org.za 
Picture: Facebook

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