HELPING OUT: The Souper Troopers provided food, cake and drinks to hundreds of homeless people at the Carpenters Shop in Roeland Street to celebrate Mandela Day. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The Souper Troopers team were hard at work on Sunday, providing a large number of Cape Town’s homeless population with a hot meal.

The non-profit organisation set up by Kerry Hoffman and her team, organise monthly social events where local homeless people are invited to eat, chat and relax. The volunteers spent hours handing out hot cups of soup and sandwiches, while the homeless also got an opportunity to have their hair cut.

Caryn Gootkin, part of the Souper Troopers, spoke of how grateful beneficiaries of these events are. “We see so many familiar faces every month. We almost don’t need to publicise events as news travels so quickly about these events within the homeless community. ”

Sunday’s food handout, held at the Carpenter’s Shop in Zonnebloem, was made possible through the food donations provided by Mensch, a Jewish company aiming to trigger positive social change and countless adults and children who volunteered. Hoffman, who became inspired to help others after feeding the homeless on pavements all over Cape Town, expressed huge gratitude for those who came to help: “When we started this four years ago, we had a dream and four years just flew by.

“Everyone loves helping out at these events and without all of their hard work, these events would be extremely difficult.”

Many of the homeless in attendance were drug addicts, alcoholics and ex-convicts. But also in the crowd was a former barista, a Grade 11 teacher and a former musician - all of whom argued that a period of bad luck contributed to their current state.

Addressing the crowd, Hoffman said, “I really want to encourage us, whether we’re at a Souper Trouper event or outside of that, what it means to be a Souper Trouper is that we thrive on our dignity, love and respect. We’re trooping together.

“It’s cold out there, a lot of you are on the streets, but you’re still trooping and please don’t give up because we at Souper Troopers are not giving up.”

For more information on the Souper Troopers, please visit http://soupertroopers.org/.

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Cape Argus