- The volunteer organisation, Chefs with Compassion, has reached a milestone - feeding two million people across South Africa.
- The NPO has 35 qualified chefs that voluntarily provide their service to the organisation, cooking food for the needy.
- The organisation has now teamed up with a software company in a bid to reduce unnecessary food waste while simultaneously alleviating hunger.
Chefs with Compassion (CWC) has reached a new milestone, feeding two million people across South Africa since opening their doors in May 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Celebrating its two million meals milestone, the volunteer rescue feeding organisation has now teamed up with software company, SYSPRO, in a partnership which aims to reduce unnecessary food waste and alleviate hunger.
CWC is a non-profit organisation with 35 chefs and cooks that voluntarily provide their services to rescue food, cook, and feed hungry people in different provinces.
The organisation said there were "millions of people around the world" who go hungry, while around 30% of the world's food is being "wasted".
"In SA alone, 10.3 million tons of food get wasted. There is no single solution that would end hunger within South Africa or across the globe. A challenge like this requires a collaborative effort," said Marion Tanzer, the organisation's general manager.
She added that the organisation had so far provided over 2.1 million meals across the whole of South Africa and aimed to continue as long as the need and the supply of nutritious rescued food remained.
Volunteers and donors
Currently, CWC produced over 18 000 meals per week, which required large amounts of fresh produce and ingredients.
Through a network of volunteers and food donors, CWC had so far rescued 731 tons of food surplus that would otherwise have gone to waste.
"This food rescue effort not only reduces the amount of food wasted, significantly reducing the impact on the environment through harmful methane gases, but lays the foundation for the organisation's operations," Tanzer added.
Once the products and ingredients are collected, community cooks, caterers and chefs across the country prepare cook and distribute nutritious meals to the thousands of South Africans in need.
Today, 32 kitchens and 30 beneficiary organisations are part of CWC's network.
Within South Africa, every day 600 000 children and 20 million adults go hungry. To meet this need, CWC aims to ramp up its operations from 18 500 meals to 100 000 meals a week.
"While this is nowhere near solving the hunger problem within South Africa, every meal produced will have a positive impact on the lives of food vulnerable people, and takes CWC one step closer to their goal," the organisation said.
Gauteng chef, Busisiwe Twala told News24 she was very "grateful" that she could be part of the organisation.
"Every day brings about new experiences. To be able to contribute to the millions of people that are being fed by our organisation is such a great feeling. Most nights when I go to bed, I cannot wait to get up the next morning to be able to cook for those hungry stomachs again," she said.
According to Twala, one of the heart-warming moments was when she heads out to communities to hand out food.
"When people see me pulling up in my vehicle, the kids especially come running down the street happily dancing and chanting 'we are going to get nice food'; that warms my heart," Twala added.
Meanwhile, SYSPRO said it was incredibly "disheartening" to see tons of food wasted each year, while thousands of South Africans were going hungry.
Mark Wilson, SYSPRO Africa CEO, said the company chose to partner with the organisation to address South Africa's hunger crisis.
"I am proud to say that, together with our employees, customers and partners, we are making a real-world impact. A child fed today will make a difference in a healthier tomorrow," added Wilson.
"Through the use of technology, food donations, logistics and beneficiaries will be connected in a seamless platform that facilitates accurate mapping and reporting," he said.
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