Volunteer kitchen Ladles of Love is moving its feeding operation from the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) to Sun Exhibits at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World.  The venue will be used as a distribution centre to facilitate the provision of food to economically impacted communities across the Cape Peninsula during the COVID-19 crisis.

Ladles of Love has created jobs for over 50 people and this team – together with over 65 volunteers – have been working in the kitchens, food distribution area and back office of the CTICC.

While admin, campaigning and operations will relocate to Sun Exhibit working alongside the distribution centre, DISH Food and Social will take over the hot food kitchen and the beneficiaries will collect from their HQ in Observatory.

“We are extremely grateful to DISH and both venues for coming on board and helping us during this critical time,” says Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto. “We are moving from 1500 square metres at the CTICC to over 2600 square metres at GrandWest and we are looking forward to unlocking new opportunities and partnerships while growing our food supply chain.”

Since lockdown started, community needs have been increasing daily. Ladles of Love has provided 1.2-million sandwiches and over 227 tonnes of bulk produce and groceries to its growing network of beneficiaries that are all non-profit or community organisations. Diliberto says that this equates to the provision of over 2.5-million meals that have been prepared and/or distributed since March 20.

Alison McCutcheon, Ladles of Love Campaign and Marketing Director says that the generous sponsorship of the huge Sun Exhibits event venue reflects the ethos and magnanimous spirit of the Sun International Executive Committee at GrandWest. “This powerful partnership will allow us to realise our vision by opening opportunities for fundraising that in turn will enable us to nearly double our food volume output.”

“The Ladles team is leaving our home at the CTICC with a heavy heart to make way for phase two of the expansion of the Hospital of Hope, as the Coronavirus pandemic escalates in our City,” she adds. “The reality we face is the need for hospital beds and nutritious meals to serve the needs of our people is on the rise and is set to reach humanitarian disaster levels within the next month.”

She continues: “We applaud Cape Town’s large event venues both CTICC and Grand West, for opening their venues and hearts, in the midst of an economic crisis to Non-profit Organisations like ours, in this most extraordinary way.”

She points out that with communities’ needs increasing daily, the goal is now to get maximum food to beneficiaries via Ladles of Love’s growing NPO network. Secondly, with the help of generous donations, Ladles can supply bulk produce to community NPO food kitchens to provide nutritious meals regularly to their beneficiaries in volume.

“GrandWest is founded on the principle of creating shared value in our surrounding communities, so we are delighted to partner with a respected organisation like Ladles of Love which plays such a crucial role in answering an enormous need in communities,” says Mervyn Naidoo, GrandWest’s General Manager. “We applaud them, as well as our many GrandWest staff members who have used their own funding to make up and deliver food to needy communities during lockdown.”

Ladles of Love is determined to rewrite the COVID-19 story to one of hope and compassion with its CT Loved appeal, aimed at getting more South Africans to help feed the hungry.

Those wishing to donate or get involved with Ladles of Love can visit: www.ctloved.co.za

For more information visit the Ladles of Love Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages #CTLoved #ladlesoflove  #humanityinaction

Picture: Ladles Of Love/Facebook

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.