2015 – Christmas Hampers for the Witpoortjie Soup Kitchen

This lovely little film was made by our December 2015 WorkAway volunteers, who were so moved by the plight of the homeless folks they served in the queues that they plied their talents and personal networks to raise funds for over 150 christmas hampers.

Here is Manuel’s commentary on the experience:

“Abject poverty” (www.vocabulary.com). The absolute worst, most hopeless level of poverty you’ve ever seen.”
About 20% of Johannesburg’s residents live in abject poverty. Many of those are found in informal settlements which lack sufficient water, electricity and roads. A further 40% live in inadequate housing, with insufficient municipal services.
Oxfam has calculated that 13-million South Africans go to bed hungry every night. While this huge number of people require food they cannot access, the country shamelessly dumps food valued at almost 4 billion USD!
Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher revealed that a staggering third of all the food produced in South Africa is wasted, equal to 2% of South Africa’s domestic product! Most of the waste occurs on farms, in storage and in the manufacturing and distribution process. It is not only the hungry who suffer from this massive and costly waste, the environment is also at a loss with water for food production wasted and soils being depleted of nutrients.
With unemployment at a sky high of 30% and a staggering 4500 homeless people trying to survive on the streets it’s no wonder local resident Hanneke is doing her best trying to help out those in need.
Hanneke has taken over a soup kitchen which provides food to over 100 hungry people every Friday morning. She uses her own resources to collect food which large supermarkets deem unfit for sale; with the large quantities being thrown away every hour her vehicle can easily be filled up numerous times a day. Her home is usually full with volunteers eager to lend a hand in the worthy cause. Together everyone cleans and prepares the food ready to hand out to people waiting in the long queue every week.
Not only is Hanneke recycling food which stores no longer want to sell, and feeding the hungry, she is spreading the word and bringing awareness to the devastating effect of food waste on the masses. Through her soup kitchen she is educating international volunteers and South Africans on how to conserve, recycle and help. It is fantastic that she is able to feed a hundred people once a week, but the main goal of the project is to spread the word and have others join in her battle against food waste.

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