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Chefs with Compassion smashes target, cooking over 104,000 litres of soup on Mandela Day


Image: Chef Coo Pillay with HTA School of Culinary Art students announcing the final number of litres of soup cooked for Mandela Day 2023
Chef Coo Pillay with HTA School of Culinary Art students announcing the final number of litres of soup cooked for Mandela Day 2023

Chefs with Compassion has once again achieved an incredible milestone in commemoration of Mandela Day. This year marked the fourth edition of the #67000litres Challenge – South Africa's largest annual collaboration of chefs and cooks dedicated to cooking for a good cause – and the results have surpassed all expectations.


The target of 67,000 litres of soup was not only met but significantly exceeded, with an astounding total of 104,360 litres cooked by 114 registered participants. These individuals represent a diverse group of cooks, chefs, community caterers, NPOs, individuals, and corporates, all united by the selfless spirit embodied in the legacy of Mandela Day.


“Words alone cannot express the profound gratitude we feel towards the hundreds of chefs who dedicated their time and culinary skills to this noble cause. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to each chef, cook, sponsor, donor, corporate backer, participating kitchen, and caring corporate that made this extraordinary achievement possible,” says Chef Coo Pillay, founding director of Chefs with Compassion.


Image: Chef Dede with HTA School of Culinary Art students
Chef Dede with HTA School of Culinary Art students

The impact of their collective efforts is truly remarkable. Over 400,000 people across the country, who might have otherwise gone hungry, received a nourishing cup or bowl of soup today. This achievement is a testament to the tireless work of Chefs with Compassion's existing hubs, which collect rescued food from our sharehouse every week and cook compassionately for their communities. We are humbled by their dedication and extend our sincerest thanks.


Highlighting some noteworthy contributors, the largest volumes were contributed by Chefs with Compassion's existing hubs. Infinity Foundation cooked an outstanding 10,500 litres, followed by Thembi T Foundation with 6,700 litres, and Carol Madumo Projects with 5,400 litres.


In Durban, the hospitality and restaurant industry wholeheartedly embraced the campaign through the KZN committee of SA Chefs, in partnership with SA Harvest, who provided essential ingredients and logistics support. A total of 25 kitchens participated, with contributions ranging from 20 to 720 litres, the largest being from Talksure.


Image: CTIA students in Durban
CTIA students in Durban

The SA Chefs Association demonstrated exceptional support, with outstanding participation from the KZN, Free State, and Gauteng regions. Some of the country’s largest hotel groups were significant contributors, with the Marriott International Group continuing its fourth year of support, alongside the participation of Southern Sun and City Lodge. Culinary schools across the country, represented by their students and lecturers, showcased their generosity by dedicating their time and resources to this meaningful cause.


For the third year, the poultry industry, led by Poultry Bulletin, backed the #67000litres Challenge, providing the means for Chefs with Compassion’s existing kitchen hubs to add nourishing protein to their soups. This year's generous donations included Quantum Foods (Nulaid) contributing 670 dozen eggs in Gauteng and 670 dozen in Cape Town, and Astral, Rainbow and Country Bird Holdings (CBH) each donating R67,000's worth of chicken. A substantial donation of vegetables from the Joburg Fresh Produce Market provided vegetables to the compassionate kitchens who regularly cook for Chefs with Compassion.


Image: Chef Dasen Sarugaser (SA Chefs and Chefs with Compassion) with students from Capsicum Culinary Studio Rosebank, who cooked a delicious with Goldi chicken
Chef Dasen Sarugaser (SA Chefs and Chefs with Compassion) with students from Capsicum Culinary Studio Rosebank, who cooked a delicious with Goldi chicken

Says Chef Coo, "The resounding success of this year's #67000litres Challenge is a testament to the unwavering dedication and compassion of South Africa's culinary community. Together, we have made a tremendous impact, nourishing those in need and raising awareness about food waste and hunger. I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this campaign possible."


While the #67000litres Challenge is an annual event, Chefs with Compassion works tirelessley to make every day a Mandela Day through their ongoing mission to Rescue, Cook, and Feed. Since their inception in May 2020, they have rescued in excess of 1,54 million kilograms of food that would otherwise have gone to waste, and served over 5,25 million meals. To support their noble cause and help combat hunger, corporates or individuals can make a once-off or recurring donation at www.cwc.org.za/donate.


For more information, go to www.cwc.org.za or email info@cwc.org.za for details on corporate partnerships.


Image: FBI Culinary Institute in Bloemfontein and SA Chefs Free State, which produced 1 600 litres for Towers of Hope
FBI Culinary Institute in Bloemfontein and SA Chefs Free State, which produced 1 600 litres for Towers of Hope

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