Cook-Up to feed children

2019-06-18 06:00
Community Cook-Up team ready to serve.

Community Cook-Up team ready to serve.

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The Community Cook-Up, a voluntary association in Hout Bay, continues to cook up a storm every Friday night to ensure that no one in the Imizamo Yethu areas goes hungry.

They say this is fuelled by the appreciation coming from those they serve.

The organisation’s aim is to feed as many children as possible.

It was established after the devastating fires in March 2017 and has since evolved so much that they are able to make other donations to the children of Imizamo Yethu.

It is estimated that the fire destroyed about 3500 structures, left 15 000 people homeless and three people dead.

Alexis Burg, one of the volunteers, says: “It has been one of the City of Cape Town’s most severe disasters to date – leaving many residents not only without homes but without any material possessions and in desperate need of support.”

She said for many days after the crisis, a volunteer group made up of a broad range of people continued to provide help wherever possible. The group included fire victims and valley residents, she says.

Burg added that the formalisation of the unique network of support that has been created among Hout Bay residents after the tragedy is the motivation behind the creation of The Community Cook-Up.

Burg says on Fridays their A-Team congregates for a big cook-up from one of their homes in Bay Farm in Hout Bay.

“All donations are put before talented chef Adam Karp and he combines it all, and somehow whips it into the most perfect and nourishing Friday night meal.

“We feed as many children as our pots will allow and currently, we cook eight, 25 litre pots of soup with 20kg of chicken from the Clay Café and four, 25 litre pots of rice weekly,” she explains.

“Our queues have been doubling each and every week, and luckily we often have an increase in food donations that goes along with it and allows us to find new feeding locations,” she says.

Funding doesn’t come easy for most non-profit organisations (NPOs), and up to this point, volunteers have run the kitchen on their own account and by means of generous donations of food, and hours of service from kind people that wanted to be involved.

Burg says: “We assisted a local production company called Together with the production of a music video in order to raise funds for the cause.

“Financial donations, food donations, clothing donations and hands-on help all go a long way.

“One of our most immediate projects involves finding a permanent location for ourselves and our kitchen as well as finding land for the purpose of building gardens that can supply our projects.

“Our current dream is to create a child-orientated and safe community space where children are provided access to food, education, safe social engagement, sport and recreation – and every little bit of kindness furthers our journey. Get in touch and we will work it out together,” she says.

The preparation of the amount of food made might have sounded like a daunting task at first, but Burg says they have all found it to be one of the most exciting projects that they have ever been part of, for so many reasons.

Burg says part of what keeps them going is the children they work with.

“They have also given us such a great deal of inspiration because they have been through so much and have so much talent. They really can see magic, even though many of them are living in more dire circumstance than one could imagine,” she concludes.

Every Friday from 17:30 they start feeding at the Temporary Residential Areas. V To help Community Cook-Up in any way call Alexis Burg on 083 229 5174 or Tjarla Norton on 082 427 3167.


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