This post is part of our Giving Tuesday series. Visit our Giving Tuesday page for more.
Mother Teresa famously said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
When it comes to feeding Cape Town’s homeless, that’s sound advice.
Advice that Ladles of Love founder, Danny Diliberto, took to heart when he set out to create a new kind of soup kitchen
Like so many places in the world, homelessness in Cape Town is on the rise. What these people need more than anything is a leg up: a job, a place to stay, counselling, etc.
They also need nourishment.
As a restaurateur, feeding Cape town’s homeless seemed like a logical starting point to Danny. To date, Ladles of Love has served more than 229,677 bowls of soup to people in need.
The Munch Club: Helping Kids Learn
Initially, Ladles of Love served only Cape Town’s homeless, but Danny wanted to offer fresh, nourishing food to anyone who might be in need.
This led to him starting The Munch Club, an in-school feeding scheme designed to feed hungry kids so they can focus on their schoolwork. As Danny rightly points out, children can’t learn on an empty stomach.
Feeding Cape Town’s Homeless is Everyone’s Responsibility
Everywhere we turn, there are people less fortunate than us. People who, for whatever reason, find themselves on hard times.
We’re often inclined to look the other way. Maybe you think you can’t help everyone or perhaps you want to help but you don’t know how.
It’s actually easier than you think.
There are a number of organisations in Cape Town working to support those in need. You can either volunteer your time or donate money to help them keep doing what they’re doing.
Ladles of Love
Ladles of Love runs three pop-up soup kitchens a week, all in the City Bowl. You can also help out at their weekly Munch Club, dishing up soup to hoards of super sweet little kids.
Based on Roeland Street in the CBD, the Hope Exchange provides much needed services to people either living on the street or at risk of becoming homeless. They also serve Sunday lunch and breakfast on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Volunteers are always needed.
Service Dining Rooms
Also in the CBD, the Service Dining Rooms serves nourishing meals to Cape Town’s homeless as well as nearby communities in need. They welcome hands on help as well as donations.
Obs Pasta Kitchen
The Obs Pasta Kitchen serves a sit down pasta dinner every week at St. Michael’s church in Observatory. They also host something called Working Wednesdays, which aims to provide their clients with necessary life skills.
These are just a few of the organisations working to make a difference in the Mother City. I’m sure a quick search on Google will highlight even more.
The other thing to keep in mind is that there’s nothing stopping you from starting an initiative if there’s a need in your area.
My hairdresser’s sister started feeding a small community of homeless people in Fish Hoek for exactly that reason. She’s now catering to around fifty people every week and has even secured the services of a local restaurant to help prepare the food.
Never doubt your ability to effect positive change. As the Dalai Lama says, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
Become a Change Agent
There are so many ways to help, so many opportunities to spread positivity. It’s really about deciding to become a change agent.
We can focus on our own lives or we can go out into the world and do something to make it a better place. It’s up to us.
Take a look at our Giving Tuesdays page to see the organisations we support. It’s a constantly growing list, so be sure to check back often to see who we’ve added.
Also, if there’s a non-profit you’d like us to feature on the page, let us know.
Remember, gratitude is the key to happiness and helping others shows us how much we have to be grateful for.