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67 000 litres of soup for Mandela Day

Chefs Jodi Gillespie and Oliver Reddy helped cook soup to hand out to the needy on Mandela Day in 2020.Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

Chefs Jodi Gillespie and Oliver Reddy helped cook soup to hand out to the needy on Mandela Day in 2020.Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 22, 2022

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With Mandela Day just weeks away, Chefs with Compassion (CWC) has set the target of cooking 67 000 litres of soup for the hungry.

This is the third year the cooking challenge will be held with nearly 600 000 people fed as a result.

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CWC was founded as a food rescue organisation in Joburg in March 2020, they prepare food from markets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste and feed hungry citizen in poor areas.

To reach the target, CWC is challenging home cooks, soup kitchens, corporate companies and ordinary citizens to put their hands to the plough.

To participate in the challenge, home cooks are asked to contribute R100.

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Small to medium sized companies are asked to donate a participation fee of R5 000, and large corporations, R15 000.

The tradition of Mandela Day involves doing something charitable for 67 minutes, in honour of the 67 years that former president and Nobel Peace prize winner Nelson Mandela spent fighting for justice, equality and human rights.

All participants are encouraged to cook as many litres of soup as possible, for their 67 minutes. Once the soup has been prepared, cooks can deliver it to their chosen organisation to distribute.

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CWC’s national project manager and chef, Coovashan Pillay, said the funds collected through the challenge will be used to sustain their operational costs.

“We run a share house in Joburg, with a dedicated team of waste warriors.

“They diligently rescue produce from the Joburg fresh produce market and donors across the food supply chain,” he said.

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Pillay said they wanted to create awareness of food waste in South Africa, which accounted for one-third of the food produced in the country annually.

“The initiative challenges all participating cooks to clear out their pantries, rescue and freeze scraps of vegetables, and use ingredients sourced sustainably to emphasise the message of feeding bellies and not bins.

“We embrace the opportunity that Mandela Day gives us to highlight the devastating impact of food waste on the environment and how this can be prevented by redirecting it to people who can use it to feed their communities.

“It takes compassion to not only recognise the need in our fellow human beings but to do something to make a difference,” he said.

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Keshia Africa

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