The team of volunteers and chefs at the Extreme Soupathon celebrated their two millionth cup of soup on Friday 11 June.
The Soupathon was launched in April last year by chef Wynand du Plessis of Extreem Kwizeen, an Observatory based catering company.
An elated Du Plessis says they are thankful for all the support they have received from donors both nationally and internationally.
“We started at the beginning of lockdown and we have been making soup ever since. Thank you to everyone that has been helping us. We would not have been able to celebrate today and get this far without their support. We have been so fortunate. This is one of those dreams come true.”
Du Plessis explains that they make between 1 400 and 1 500 litres of soup per day and then freeze it in 1 litre tubs overnight.
“The next morning we take the frozen soup blocks out and we pack them, 10 blocks per bag, and distribute them to soup kitchens, churches, organisations and distribution centres across Cape Town. They simply have to re-boil it and then it is ready to be served.”
He adds that every block, once boiled in a pot, serves about six cups of soup. He explains that the ingredients are all natural with no preservatives and 100% nutritional.
Du Plessis says their success thus far is attributed to the many donors.
“We have so many people helping, we have awesome support from several farmers, butternut farmers, tomato farmers, potato farmers; all supporting our cause. If they don’t donate in masses, they give us massive discounts on purchasing vegetables.”
He adds: “We get financial contributions from philanthropists overseas. There are also just so many people in South Africa helping everywhere.”
Du Plessis says in a bid to raise more funds, they have started a farm stall which opened last Friday. He says the small stall is run from their building in Observatory.
“To make some money, we started a farm stall from all the leftover donations that we receive. We have also asked some of the farmers if we are allowed to sell some of the donations they give us. They have agreed and so we sell it at a much cheaper price. We have some tomato’s, pickled peppers, jams and so much more.”
He says with the proceeds they aim to cover some of the expenses that they have.
“All of that money we will use to help sustain the soup kitchen. We are trying to build a sustainable soup kitchen for the future that looks after itself and become a little less reliant on donations.”
Du Plessis says their monthly expenses are more than R700 000 to keep the kitchen running successfully. He says his electricity bill per month is about R45 000.
One of the many organisations that benefits from the Soupathon is, Invisible Hands NPC feeding scheme. Yusuf Gabiel say: “The donations we have received from Extreme Soupathon was a game changer for us. It really helps us to feed the thousands of people we distribute food to.”
Griffith Nolte from De Waveren Primary School in Ruyterwacht says: “We are grateful for the soup they provide us with. We cannot do without it.”
Du Plessis says despite the challenges they faced throughout the past year, they are grateful for the service they can offer.
“You come up with an idea and then everyone tells you, ‘No, it will never work,’ and then 16 months later you can’t stop smiling.”
To support the initiative, visit http://www.extreem.co.za/