Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Madiba’s birthday. This is a day where South Africans come together to dedicate their time to help those in need. While the celebration usually requires 67 minutes of effort to make a difference, this year, over 300 chefs in 10 cities throughout South Africa got together to feed those in the most vulnerable communities.
Around 18 Million South Africans Wake Up and Go to Bed Hungry
It’s no secret that lockdown has had a huge knock on the unemployment rate, consequently affecting jobs for millions of South Africans. Even before COVID-19, around 13 million South Africans went to bed hungry. Since the beginning of lockdown, that number has gone up to around 18 million people. Fortunately, SA Harvest and Chefs with Compassion, two organisations rooted in a philosophy of rescuing food to provide meals to the most vulnerable in our society, stepped in.
CTIA Chefs Honoured to Be Part of Mandela Day
Despite the devastation of the hospitality industry – with millions of South Africans losing their jobs, and even businesses closing their doors – chefs from restaurants, hotels, caterers, and cooking schools stepped in to make a difference with SA Harvest and Chefs With Compassion. At CTIA, all our chefs from each campus in Centurion, Stellenbosch, Durban, and Nelspruit were humbled and honoured to be a part of this incredible humanitarian initiative.
Over 300 000 People Received Meals Around the Country
On Saturday 18 July, the cook-a-thon, which took place in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Mokopane, Rustenburg, Vereeniging and Nelspruit, started at 06:00 and only finished at 14:30. Using rescued food – and with the help of sponsors, markets and suppliers all over South Africa – over 300 chefs washed, peeled, chopped, diced, stirred, and provided a nutritious vegetable and sugar bean soup that fed 309 820 hungry mouths all over the country.
Chefs Beat the 67 0000 Litre Goal
The goal of the event was to reach 67 000 litres. Instead, chefs cooked and served 77 455 litres of hearty soup, feeding over 80 beneficiary organisations from around the country. After the cook-a-thon, SA Harvest’s trucks could be seen travelling safely in convoy to deliver soup to all the major vulnerable communities. It was an incredible, victorious experience in honour of an extraordinary man!
Although the past few months have placed an enormous burden on the hospitality and tourism industry, Mandela Day reminded millions of South Africans that the spirit of Madiba is alive and well, and that the hospitality industry is ready to get back into the kitchen.