FEEL GOOD | These compassionate chefs turned 'waste food' into 1.3 million meals for the hungry

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Arnold Tanzer (left) and Ismail Ismail. (Supplied)
Arnold Tanzer (left) and Ismail Ismail. (Supplied)
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  • A group of local chefs have turned food which would have gone to waste into more than 1.3 million meals for people battling through the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • The volunteer organisation Chefs with Compassion have "rescued" more than 470 tonnes of food and served 1 382 632 meals. 
  • With their new sponsorship, they can now pay the overheads at the "sharehouse" they moved to when their initiative outgrew their old cooking spot.

A group of local chefs have turned food that would have gone to waste into more than 1.3 million meals for people battling through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The volunteer organisation Chefs with Compassion have "rescued" more than 470 tons of food and served 1 382 632 meals. 

With new sponsorship from Compass Insure, they can now also afford to keep paying the overheads for the "sharehouse" they had to move to when the initiative took off.

"The sponsorship comes at a pivotal time for Chefs with Compassion and for the country, as the ravages of the second wave of Covid-19 are felt across South Africa," they announced. 

Initially operating from the HTA School of Culinary Art for the first five months of lockdown, Chefs with Compassion relied on partners and donations, most notably the South African Chefs' Association. 

Since moving into the "sharehouse" near the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market in City Deep, overhead costs such as rent, utilities, logistics, reimbursement for volunteer transport costs, and a "sharehouse" manager, have increased. 

"The partnership with Compass Insure enables the sustainability of the operation, allowing us to continue our mission of rescuing food and feeding those most in need. We are deeply grateful to Compass Insure for the confidence they have placed in our relatively young organisation," said Arnold Tanzer, chairperson of the board of Chefs with Compassion.

Chefs with Compassion explained that over 10 million tons of food is wasted every year, while more than 16 million people go hungry each day. 

They work with Nosh Food Rescue to collect fit-for-consumption surplus produce that would end up in landfills, or incinerated. The raw ingredients are cooked and distributed to the needy through the Chefs with Compassion volunteer network. 

"Our goal is simple - to help Chefs with Compassion cook many more meals," said Ismail Ismail, managing director of Compass Insure.

Chefs with Compassion's website explains how to become a supporter, and how to apply to become a beneficiary of the meals that are cooked and distributed through its network.  

- Compiled by Jenni Evans

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