Food insecurity is a significant concern in South Africa’s impoverished communities.
Eunice Ralarhala from the Drommedaris extension of Mbekweni in Paarl works to tackle food insecurity in her community. Since 2019, Eunice has been running Gratefulness Soup Kitchen in this area. With Valcare’s help, she was recently gifted a container facility to run the soup kitchen from.
Valcare, the project’s social investment managers, officially handed Eunice the facility’s keys in April this year.
When Eunice started Gratefulness, she was still a domestic worker. She used her salary to buy the soup kitchen’s first ingredients.
“I started the soup kitchen because I believe that every child deserves at least one nutritious meal a day. I am so happy that we have a space to operate from. My only hope now is that the community of Drommedaris works with me to protect this container because it is not mine; it belongs to the whole community,” she said.
Currently, the soup kitchen feeds about 200 children each day. They also run after-school programmes where community children have a safe space to express themselves, discover their talents, and get a robust support system.
COLLABORATION TOWARDS A CLEAR GOAL
Securing, placing and doing internal work on the container took collaboration from multiple stakeholders by donating funds or services and goods in kind.
The container is installed with running water and electricity. There is also enough room and shelf space in the container to prepare and store food.
“I am inspired by what is happening here today and I believe that children and people in the community will also be inspired. I hope to see this soup kitchen flourishing and become a hub where the children and youth of Mbekweni can view it as a safe space where they can learn, play and also get a warm meal,” said Sibuthe James, a teacher at Mbekweni’s Langabuya Primary School, became a passionate volunteer at Gratefulness Community Soup Kitchen.
Jannie Mouton Foundation
Pure Legacy Foundation
Project manager: Valcare
ERF allocation: Drakenstein Municipality