Over 300 chefs in 10 cities across South Africa will be serving up 67 000 litres of soup this coming Mandela Day, the 18 July 2020. This translates to 268 000 cups of hot and hearty nourishment for hungry people.

The #67000litres campaign is the idea of two charities who are both committed to rescuing food and feeding some of the most vulnerable members of our society: SA Harvest and Chefs with Compassion.

“Even before this pandemic, 13 million South African men, women and children went to bed hungry. Now its 18 million!”

Chefs with Compassion was founded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has provided meals to over 400 000 people since 06 April 2020.

SA Harvest’s mission is to ensure that every South African can access adequate nutritious food on a daily basis, through rescuing and redistributing food, as well as educating and engaging with communities. Since lockdown began, they have delivered 1.7 million meals to a range of beneficiaries who feed people in need.

Ozzy Nel, Operations Manager of SA Harvest, says, “Even before this pandemic, 13 million South African men, women and children went to bed hungry. Now its 18 million! Against this backdrop, consider that 10 million tons of food goes to waste every year.”

He hopes that this initiative will help to put the spotlight on the massive problem of food waste in South Africa – a problem which can be used to help solve the problem of hunger.

“The spirit of Mandela is alive and well in the hospitality industry, despite the challenges we are facing.”

The cook-a-thon will start at 06h00 on Saturday, in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, Bloemfontein, Mokopane, Rustenburg, Vereeniging, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit. The chefs – who come from restaurants, hotels, cooking schools and catering operations – will chop, mix, stir and cook the hours away (using rescued food) so that by 14h00 they can hand 67 000 litres of soup to over 80 beneficiary organisations from around the country.

In addition, food trucks in the three major centres will travel in convoy with SA Harvest’s trucks to deliver soup to vulnerable communities.

Says Chef Coo Pillay, National Project Manager of Chefs with Compassion, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from chefs, sponsors, markets and suppliers all over South Africa. The spirit of Mandela is alive and well in the hospitality industry, despite the challenges we are facing.”

He adds, “Whether we reach the target or not, the conclusion of this initiative will be a celebration of how an industry that has suffered the most at the hands of the pandemic has set aside its own hardships in the true spirit of Madiba to rise to the challenge of feeding those in need.”

If you would like to help them reach their goal, you can donate R10. This will provide one whole and wholesome meal. Click here to find out more.

You can also follow the #67000litres journey from 06h00 to 14h30 on 18 July 2020, on facebook.com/chefswithcompassion and facebook.com/saharvest using the hashtags #67000litres #MandelaDay #chefswithcompassion #saharvest.