Caring chefs feed the needy

Student chef Irvan Claassen hands Sherwin Jacobs a bowl of food. At the back is children's church teacher Ellen van der Hart, Shakirah Stemmet and Laeeka Hendricks.

A Tafelsig chef and her colleagues treated 750 people in her community to a two-course meal.

Abegail Fulton, bistro manager and a member of “Chefs that Care”, an initiative by GrandWest Casino, and a dozen of her colleagues took the day off to cook and serve neighbours and community at United Reformed Church (URC) in Tafelsig on Thursday September 28.

Barefoot children wearing tattered clothing, wheelchair-bound people and the elderly queued outside of the church for a meal of mince, vegetable casserole, rice, jelly and custard.

Through the monthly feeding initiative, the chefs have fed and delivered ingredients to hundreds of people, living in disadvantaged communities, including, Rocklands, Pelican Park, Ottery, Sewende Laan in Strandfontein, Schaapkraal, Elsies River and Valhalla Park.

Ms Fulton said she participates in the initiative because she lives in the area and sees every day “how tough it is to make ends meet”.

“I see how kids and the elderly go hungry because of the circumstances they live in,” she said.

Executive chef and a founder of the initiative, Wynand Schoeman, said he wanted all of the chefs in the casino’s kitchens to participate in visits to the communities.

“It is very rewarding to see the faces and be able to give back to the community,” he said.

Mr Schoeman said the company buys the ingredients and the chefs prepare the food.

Dominee Johannes Wiese said there was a great need in the community for organisations to help the people of Tafelsig.

He said they could not have their monthly soup kitchen because of a lack of funds but have been able to offer some bread.

“Most of the funds come from our congregation,” he said.

“It is a very good idea for companies to help the community. We do need help from outside” said Mr Wiese.