Soup kitchen ready to dish

2017-08-29 06:00
New Living Hope volunteer gives the elderly something to eat at the official launch of New Living Hope as a registered non profit organisation.

New Living Hope volunteer gives the elderly something to eat at the official launch of New Living Hope as a registered non profit organisation.

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New Living Hope, a non-profit organisation in Retreat, has been instrumental in filling the tummies of needy residents.

Founders Elrich Herman and Freda Thompson started the soup kitchen early last year by feeding underprivileged people in their community.

“They started small with only one 60F pot and as word got around, more and more people arrived at the soup kitchen for a hot cup of soup in the winter and a cooked meal in summer. People of all ages came as far as Diep River and Lavender Hill. With the help of family and friends they were able to do this,” says Herman.

The organisation has grown and they now have more people to feed. As the demand for soup grew, volunteers also came in their numbers to help and they saw a need to register as an NPO.

Following a successful registration, the organisation officially launched on Saturday 19 August at Mandolin Place retirement village in Steenberg.

“This is an old-age home that we have been supporting as well. The reason we chose this venue for the launch was because we felt that these were the forgotten heroes of yesterday and knew they would love the company and party.”

After just one year they’ve invested in another two pots as well as a bigger gas burner to feed their community every Saturday. They also take food to an informal settlement in Nector Road and Mandolin Place.

“Not only do we feed soup in three locations, but we have also been giving Mandolin Place residents a food parcel once a month for the past 10 months. Second-hand clothes were donated to us, which we distributed to all three locations ­monthly.”

The organisers of the launch believe it was a success.

“It was such a wonder to see our ward councillor Marita Petersen there as well as one of our sponsors, Totalgaz. The chairman of Ikon Bikers Club, another sponsor, shared the day with us. We had family and friends, and most importantly, our volunteers all gathered in celebration.

“We have been running our soup kitchen independently for almost two years and due to the rapid growth of the number of mouths we need to feed, including the extra locations, we have decided to become a registered NPO. We are assisting about 400 people every weekend and are hoping to double that figure by the end of the year with the continuous support of family, friends and sponsors,” says Herman.

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