More than 3 700 people were fed on Mandela Day by the Tafelsig Mitchell’s Plain Community Action Network (CAN).
Twenty-five food stations were divided among seven groups, which cooked for and fed people in the streets of Tafelsig and Freedom Park.
The cooks, called Change Champions, participated in a competition organised by Tafelsig Mitchell’s Plain CAN, with meals being judged on their nutritional balance, cost effectiveness and taste.
All ingredients were donated by sponsors and the judges included comedian Marc Lottering and journalist Tanya Nefdt.
Chelsea Goliath, 22, from Tafelsig, who is an intern at Tafelsig Mitchell’s Plain CAN, and whose mom Gwendoline is one of the cooks, helped at the event which was held at her home on Saturday July 18.
She also shared one of her poems, called Mitchell’s Plain, at the event.
“The day was amazing, we fed so many people and this warmed my heart,” she said.
“Many people see Mandela Day as a holiday, but it is a day where we get to help people in need. My favourite part was seeing the children smile.”
Mr Lottering described the day as “something else”.
“It’s one thing just hearing about what Joanie Fredericks and her fantastic team are doing,” he said, referring to Tafelsig Mitchell’s Plain CAN’s chairwoman.
“It’s a completely different experience actually physically being there, witnessing the work being done, and being amongst the members of the community. I was hugely inspired,” he said.
What stuck with him, he added, was the motto, “if it’s not good enough for me to eat, it’s not good enough for my neighbour”.
“And as far as the actual LEKKA JY competition went, we had a beautiful time. The food was seriously lekker, and what a total privilege to be able to know that more than 3 000 people were fed. Sincere thanks to all the sponsors. It was a fantastic Mandela Day. Every day should be Mandela Day, helping someone in need, every day,” said Mr Lottering.
Ms Fredericks said it had been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the community.
She said despite the terrible economic climate, and the fact that everyone was struggling, many donors had given generously.
“We are still facing a huge crisis of hunger. This competition that the Change Champions participated in was in the name of feeding the community in an innovative way.”
Ms Fredericks and her team are constantly looking for new ways to feed people.
“If Mr Mandela was still alive, we would not have been in such a struggle. We must hold our current government accountable.
“Level 3 of lockdown does not mean we should let the government off the hook because now more than ever we need to feed the people in the respective communities,” she said.
She is thankful to all those who were involved with the feeding and those who cooked and helped to make Mandela Day possible.
If you would like to assist Tafelsig Mitchell’s Plain CAN contact Joanie Fredericks, on 076 621 0245 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit their website www.mitchellsplaincan.co.za
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