As more and more people become unemployed, more and more people are flipping below the breadline. All these people start to turn to the community soup kitchens for food, putting so much pressure on the supply chain of food.
Western Cape, South Africa (12 August 2020) – The Ladles of Love Sarmie Drive initiative, which kicked off at the beginning of lockdown, sparked a sandwich revolution which saw households across the Cape Peninsula producing a staggering 2 million sandwiches for fellow Capetonians in need.
To put this milestone in perspective, 2 million sarmies is equal to 280kms (based on an average slice of bread at 14cm) 2 million sarmies in metres is 257 times the height of Table Mountain, 50 times as tall as a Kilimanjaro, and 50,000 times as tall as a giraffe.
In July 2014, Diliberto, with the help of a chef and some volunteers, started cooking pots of soup every Tuesday from the restaurant he co-founded, Doppio Zero in St Georges Mall.
After a breathing and meditation course it all “clicked into place,” he said. “I decided to start serving the homeless community from my restaurant.”
Over the next five years, the organisation grew. With the help of schools and other soup kitchens, food would be served four times a week in the city centre. By March 2020, Ladles would be serving about 14,000 meals a month. And then Covid-19 hit.
Commenting on hitting the 2 million mark, Ladles of Love Founder Danny Diliberto says that the next target is to hit the 4 million mark on World Food Day on 16th October.
“When we reached one million sandwiches on 1st June, I was so blown away by the community coming together to help us achieve what I believe has not been achieved anywhere around the world. While I was celebrating this moment, I was somewhat nervous if we would be able to keep this up and once again the people of Cape Town have shown me that they are committed to continuing this journey with us.”
He continues: “In just a couple of months we have reached TWO MILLION sandwiches, and we are still going strong. Every day I am blessed to watch #humanityinaction, and I am continually reminded that many small acts of kindness create one huge impact of Love. Thank you Cape Town and thanks to Samara Stern for your brilliant idea that sparked the sandwich revolution.”
The 2 million target was reached quicker with the help of the Mandela Day sandwich World Record attempt which saw thousands of Capetonians contributing to smashing a world record and feeding thousands On Mandela Day and making history by making the most sandwiches in an hour – the record was broken with a staggering 304,583 sandwiches received.
He says that with the drive being so successful in Cape Town they have now decided to expand into Port Elizabeth together with Sun International by opening up a depot at The Boardwalk Casino.
“Two million sarmies in distance means that we are a quarter of the way to PE, let’s keep the spirit up and get there.”
Nqobile Qupe, BoardWalk Marketing Manager, says: “The Boardwalk is delighted to be partnering with Ladles of Love in Port Elizabeth. By opening up our facilities to them, we will be able to replicate the phenomenal success they have achieved with our sister property at GrandWest Casino in Cape Town. We urge locals in Port Elizabeth to support this call to come together to feed the hungry in our communities.”
Diliberto says: “Having provided over 5 million meals with our Food Donation and Sandwich Drive initiative Ladles of Love is still on a massive fundraising drive to keep our Distribution Centre full of food to share with our 138 beneficiaries who in turn support other soup kitchens.”
The Drive is operational for both donors and recipients in the following regions: City Bowl, Atlantic Seaboard, Southern Suburbs, Northern Suburbs, West Coast, South Peninsula, Helderberg and the Cape Flats.
“We are overwhelmed with the response we have had from suburbs all around Cape Town who have mobilised their communities and come on board to help those in need.”
Sara Dale-Lace from the Hebron Project – an NPO that feeds the hungry in the informal settlement in Masiphumele home to approximately 50,000 residents, says that the neighbours from the surrounding area make thousands of sandwiches weekly, which they drop off at seven of the sandwich depots across the peninsula. “Everything is then counted and packed into vehicles of the volunteers who deliver the food personally to the 11 feeding stations where children and adults wait patiently, lunchboxes in hand, for something to eat,” she explains.
“It warms my heart to see the children walking off with a boiled egg, a piece of fruit and a sandwich – holding it as if it were a prized possession,” she says. “Anxious little eyes light up in delight when they get their food. She says that the parents and adults in the community see the positive difference in the behaviour of a fed child versus a hungry child.”
Diliberto says that although we as Capetonians have achieved so much, we still have such a long path to walk and he is appealing to everyone to continue pulling together so that the NPO can continue providing food to the hungry.
“As this pandemic has shown me that it is not going away anytime soon and that the ripple effect is only starting to really hit now,” he adds.
“As more and more people become unemployed, more and more people are flipping below the breadline. All these people start to turn to the community soup kitchens for food, putting so much pressure on the supply chain of food.”
In other words, he says that more and more people need food, but there is less and less money or resources available to provide it. He is very happy that GrandWest will continue with their support with a distribution centre.
Nikki Botha, Marketing Manager, GRANDWEST says: “GrandWest is proud to have partnered with Ladles of Love acting as the distribution hub for the delivery of over 300,000 sandwiches to people in need on Mandela Day. We have taken a decision to be a partner by making part of our facilities available to Ladles of Love for their main distribution centre. We look forward to a prosperous relationship with them.”
Ladles of Love will continue, through its CT Loved campaign call to action, to rally people who care, to donate money, food and essential items in the spirit of Ubuntu.
Please go to www.ctloved.co.za and join the sandwich drive or make a donation. Whatever you can afford. R150 feeds a person daily for a month. It all helps.
For more information visit the Ladles of Love Facebook or Instagram pages or go to https://www.ladlesoflove.org.za #CTLoved #ladlesoflove