MANDELA DAY CHALLENGE
Press release June 2021
Feature Picture Caption: Celebrity chef Sasha Zambetti with Coo Pillay, National Project Manager of Chefs with Compassion
The #67000litres for Mandela Day Challenge is on – and this year every South African with a kitchen and a heart for the hungry can participate.
Chefs with Compassion is calling on every day South Africans across five different categories to put on their aprons, clear out their pantries, and get cooking in the biggest nationwide cooking challenge for hunger awareness ever in SA’s history. Best of all, it can be done safely and from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Last year, in a remarkable display of the true spirit of Mandela Day, over 300 chefs stood proudly behind their stoves, united despite the devastation of their industry, taking collective action to put their heart where their passion lies – feeding people. The result… the target of 67 000 litres of soup was exceeded, and 77 455 litres was cooked, serving 309 820 cups of soup to hungry people all over the country.
This year, Chefs with Compassion has initiated a nationwide challenge to beat the #67000litres target once again – this time challenging every single person, representing five different categories, to dedicate their 67 minutes on Mandela Day to raising awareness of the shocking fact that 10 million tonnes of food goes to waste every year while 18 million people go hungry every day.
The categories in this year’s “67 000 Litres for Mandela Day Challenge” are Home Cooks, Hotels, Culinary Schools, Kitchens (eg restaurants, pubs, canteens, catering companies), and Corporates.
Within each of these categories, participants will complete a ‘Clean Out Your Pantry’ Challenge, using close-to-expiry-date products and supplementing with wholesome and nutritious ingredients to make a hearty soup.
“Since we launched Chefs with Compassion in May last year we’ve been overwhelmed by the spirt of kindness, volunteerism and interest in making a difference – exactly the spirit that Mandela Day embodies. This year, as we reach the peak of the third wave and with Government calling on South Africans to isolate as much as possible, getting involved in 67 minutes of doing good on Madiba’s birthday is a little more challenging than usual. Meanwhile, one of the greatest problems facing our country is that of hunger. The #67000litres Challenge is the perfect way for every company, every individual and every hospitality industry player to give back. At the same time, this initiative will send the clear and resounding message that the food that is wasted across every stage of the food chain (Agriculture – Manufacturing – Distribution – Retail – Consumer) is sufficient to feed every hungry South African three meals a day,” says Arnold Tanzer, chairman of Chefs with Compassion.
Within the Corporate category, caring companies in every sector can give their staff the opportunity to give back in a way that’s both safe and promotes teamwork and collaboration. Corporates can participate in one of three ways – with staff cooking from the safety of their own homes, or in their company canteen, or by adopting a food truck and cooking in designated locations in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town, where their teams will cook in shifts of 67 minutes.
The #67000litres Challenge is an important fundraiser for Chefs with Compassion. Last year almost R150 000 was raised through generous donations from across the country as the public rallied behind this incredible initiative. “This year’s commitment to a donation by participants in the #67000litres Challenge will help us continue our mission to Rescue, Cook and Feed. Since the start of lockdown, we have served over 1,767 million meals through our network of entirely voluntary waste warriors, chefs, cooks and volunteers. Donations for participation in the #67000litres Challenge give participants the opportunity to be part of an incredible national initiative and in gratitude, donors will receive a cookbook containing soup recipes from celebrity chefs who will be cooking, along with thousands of South Africans, on Mandela Day.
The Challenge was launched on Facebook on 14 June, and the first participants had thrown their (chefs) hats into the ring within the first hour of going live. In the Hotel category, Marriott International were the first to take up the challenge, signing up as their hotel group. In the Kitchen category, Buns Out in Linden – which was one of the first restaurants to become a Chefs with Compassion kitchen at the start of lockdown last year – came on board as the first restaurant. In the Culinary School category – NDS Academy in Vereeniging was the first to put their money where their mouth is, with Capsicum Culinary Studio signing up six campuses and International Hotel School signing up four campuses shortly thereafter, while the HTA Culinary Art has challenged all culinary schools to beat their intended target of 500 litres per campus. The first Home Cook to sign up was Christine Phillips of Health Yourself, who started cooking soup in her kitchen at home before Chefs with Compassion was even formally established. And in the Corporate category, Chefs with Compassion’s Premier Sponsor, Compass Insure, signed up without a moment’s hesitation.
To be part of this one-of-a-kind national Mandela Day Challenge, go to https://cwc.org.za/latest-news/join-the-67000litres-challenge-this-mandela-day, download the information page relevant to your category and click on the link to register online. Follow the story on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #67000litres.
Yejna Maharaj (SA Chefs), Sasha Zambetti (celebrity chef), Coo Pillay (Chefs with Compassion), Keanetswe Sematle (Chefs with Compassion volunteer), Lebo Lekotoko (NDS Chefs Academy), Tom Savage (Buns Out), Vanessa Naude (Chefs with Compassion), Ismail Ismail (Compass Insure). Front: Marion Tanzer (Chefs with Compassion) and Hanneke van Linge (Chefs with Compassion).