Time and time again it’s been proven that mountains can move when people work towards a common goal. And our timelines have recently been flooded with organisations and communities who have selflessly reached deep into their pockets and utilised their unique skills to help those in need.
This situation was no different as 280 participants from different parts of South Africa successfully exceeded their target of 67 000 litres of hearty, delicious soup set by food rescue organisation Chefs with Compassion.
Even though parts of the country have been battered and bruised as a result of the unrest in our land, humanity and compassion always reigns supreme, which made it possible for a whopping 70 897 litres of soup to be cooked. This feat allowed 283 588 people to be fed with a hot cuppa-goodness on Mandela Day.
Chefs with Compassion brought an interesting twist to the 67 minutes theme with their #67000litres for Mandela Day initiative which made its debut in 2020. This volunteer-based food rescue organisation first saw chefs in professional kitchens step up to cook soup but extended the challenge to corporates and home cooks in their own kitchens. After whipping up a steaming hot pot of soup, these people could then donate it to someone in their immediate area.
In the Western Cape province, a collaboration led by Chef Greg Henderson saw some innovative measures at play. Chef Greg of The Wild Food Revolution and Culinary Concepts along with two local breweries and the local community in Hermanus, Kleinmond and surrounding areas managed to cook just under 4 000 litres of soup almost entirely from foraged ingredients.
The soup, coupled with 800 gorgeously baked loaves of bread donated by Blue Ribbon, was given to communities in Stanford, Hawston, Zwehile, Caledon, Mount Pleasant, Kleinmond, and Botrivier.
“We delivered one ton of produce to a community kitchen in Strand that serves 2 500 children five days a week plus 12 tons of produce was sent to KZN. It was a busy, emotional and humbling week,” Chef Greg said.
Capsicum Culinary Studio in Cape Town represented our city with finesse by cooking up soup to feed those in need.
Meanwhile, Chefs with Compassion’s national project manager, Chef Coo Pillay expressed his gratitude for each drop of soup: “We are humbled and in awe of the impact that achieving the target of 67 000 litres of cook has had, and of the collective action that made this possible. Thank you to every participant for every drop of soup, to our premier partner, Compass Insure, our technology partner SYSPRO, our many, many sponsors, partners, volunteers, kitchens and beneficiaries.”
Beneficiaries of this year’s #67000litres included NGOs that work tirelessly to ensure that people don’t go hungry, such as MES, churches, orphanages, and soup kitchens while ,any of the recipients of the #67000litres soup were homeless people who were served by participants driving to find people in need of their nourishing soup.
In the same vein, chairman of Chefs with Compassion, Arnold Tanzer said: “We are called upon to make every day Mandela Day, and that is the philosophy that has driven Chefs with Compassion from the very beginning… we invite every participant in this year’s challenge, once a week, to cook for those who, through no fault of their own, face the daily desperation of hunger.”
To date, Chefs with Compassion has served over 1,9 million meals. To find out more about this organisation, make sure to visit: www.cwc.org.za.