Soup kitchen celebrates giving

2018-07-10 06:00
The staff who make the initiative possible with an impressive birthday cake outside the container at the church in Merrydale Avenue. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

The staff who make the initiative possible with an impressive birthday cake outside the container at the church in Merrydale Avenue. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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They have been in servitude to the community for the past 16 years and they show no signs of packing up their ladles any time soon.

Backed by generous donations from congregants and the surrounding residents and businesses, the New Apostolic Church Lentegeur Community Soup Kitchen celebrated their 16th anniversary on Thursday 28 June.

Adelaide Philander, one of the founding members, says the soup kitchen was started in response to a need identified in the community­.

Along with another group of seniors from the church, the women initially cooked the soup at their homes and then served it from a carport alongdide the church.

“We only got the container around 14 years ago. For two years we used the carport to serve the community. The sisters would make the food at home and then transport it to the church to serve. We then started to receive our first pots and stove and when we got the container, everything started to fall in place,” says Philander.

They are self-sustainable with a project in place that allows for various congregants to donate at specified intervals in addition to the donations from residents and businesses­.

“We get vegetables from the local hawkers and soup bones from the butcher and other donations from businesses, making it possible to make a pot of food. We then also have congregants who will buy splitpeas or something else that we can use for the feedings,” says Philander.

“We also have ministers in place who have to see to it that there is something. Each one of them has a turn to supply the kitchen with soup mix or split peas and on Thursdays they will give us a bag of potatoes and a 5kg bag of rice to kick-start our pot for the week.”

She adds that they often get approached by people wanting to get involved.

Monetary donations are welcome, however Philander says they would much rather have people donate items to help make food for the residents.

“I always say it is open for people to do what they want to do, but I prefer they don’t give me money. To me, there is more blessings bound to it if you go and buy something and donate it, rather than to give me money,” says Philander.

They serve around 400 people per week who travel from far and wide, with feedings on Mondays and Thursdays.

“We started with only Monday servings, but then the need became so great in the area. People would walk from as far as Khayelitsha and Heinz Park to come here. They come here for a hot meal. We decided we would open the kitchen on Thursdays as well based on the need,” says Philander.

On Mondays they serve soup, with a cooked stew-based meal with rice on Thursdays.

In commemoration of their anniversary, the residents were treated to chicken curry and rice with a parcel of cake to take home.

“One of our ministers felt he wanted to donate and gave us 15kg of chicken to make the meal possible,” she says.

V To donate or get involved, call Philander on 083 937 2505.

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