The spirit of Madiba is alive and well in dozens of home cooks, chefs, corporates and communities who have pledged to spend 67 minutes or more cooking soup for food vulnerable people all over the country in the #67000litres Challenge for Mandela Day.
More than 70 people have pledged to cook as little as one litre, right up to 12 000 litres of soup in the biggest nationwide compassionate cooking challenge in South Africa – but there’s still 14 000 litres to go to reach the target of 67 000 litres.
To date, 53 051 litres has been pledged by 71 participants, with less than a week to go until the final countdown. “More important than reaching the target of 67 000 litres is the fact that around 55 000 people won’t receive a nourishing meal on Mandela Day. That is what this initiative is all about,” says Chef James Khoza, chairman of Chefs with Compassion.
Chefs with Compassion’s #67000litres Challenge is powered by AEG and Electrolux, whose MD, Murray Crow, will be among the corporates cooking for the cause on Mandela Day. He says, “Experts estimate that millions of South Africans currently face concerning levels of food insecurity; a situation worsened by Covid-19, climate change, rising food prices etc. Our support for the #67000litres Challenge will provide nutritious meals to those who need it most, and hopefully raise awareness to encourage more people to reach out and give where they can.”
Now in its third year, the #67000litres Challenge raises awareness of the fact that 12,3 million tonnes of food goes to waste every year while 20 million people go hungry every day.
This year, the #67000litres Challenge has caught the attention of the foodie community, bringing an outpouring of support on social media from caring chefs and compassionate cooks, including Siba Mtongana, Thembisa Jordaan, Chef Naledi, Colleen Flowers, Vicky Ntshulana, Zamo Makhathini, and many more.
The poultry industry has once again pledged remarkable support of the challenge, giving Chefs with Compassion’s own network of kitchens who cook for their communities on a regular basis the gift of protein for their participation in the challenge. Astral Foods, Country Bird Holdings and Rainbow Chicken have each pledged R67 000 worth of chicken and Quantum Foods has pledged 67 x 20 dozen eggs. Bidfood Heriotdale provided their assistance in storing the huge volume of chicken delivered ahead of Mandela Day. Said Izaak Breitenbach of the South African Poultry Association, “Food security is top of the poultry industry’s agenda, and we pride ourselves on producing the most affordable animal protein. It is a privilege to be in a position to ensure a nutritious meal for people who might otherwise go hungry on Madiba’s birthday.”
Other support for the participation of Chefs with Compassion’s existing kitchens has come from the Joburg Market, ZZ2, Giffith Crown Foods, Crown National and Unilever Food Solutions. Their contribution to the challenge makes it possible for Chefs with Compassion’s existing network of kitchens in Joburg to cook thousands of litres of soup for their communities on Mandela Day, along with the food rescued by Nosh Food Rescue.
SYSPRO, one of Chefs with Compassion’s most loyal supporters, is leading the charge in the corporate category of the challenge. Staff members, including Group CEO Phil Duff, will be participating in a teambuilding cookoff with the CK Foundation, one of CWC’s beneficiaries. Says Mark Wilson, CEO of SYSPRO EMEA, “We challenge corporate South Africa to get your staff involved in this incredible initiative. Not only does it enable 268 000 people to receive a meal on Mandela Day, it’s also about spreading awareness of the need to redirect perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste to people in need. Whether they cook individually in their own home kitchens over the Mandela Day weekend, or together in a staff canteen, the #67000litres challenge embodies the spirit of what Mandela is about – collective action for the greater good of our country.”
Restaurants such as Rockets have stepped up to participate in the challenge, and Protea Hotels by Marriott have put their full weight behind the campaign, committing to participation in four cities.
Anyone, anywhere can participate in the challenge, which encourages home cooks, corporates, chefs and communities to clear out their pantries, raise awareness of the travesty of food waste and hunger, and participate in a massive humanitarian effort to feed as many people as possible on Mandela Day. Participants select their own beneficiaries and contribute their final volume to the total challenge tally of soup cooked throughout the Mandela Day weekend from Friday 15 to Monday 18 July.
For more information on how to participate, go to www.cwc.org.za.