SOUP KITCHEN- A GREAT INITIATIVE FOR THE POOR
By Nqobile Maphalala
The Molweni Ward 9 community came up with a Soup Kitchen initiative to help benefit its most vulnerable community members.
The Soup Kitchen initiative is the brain child of local councillors and the eThekwini municipality with the aim of helping fight poverty amongst the unemployed as well as providing transport for the sick to collect their medication from clinics.
Mzwakhe Nyathikazi, secretary of WAR room – a Sukuma Sakhe operation that makes sure that the Soup Kitchen functions well, says that the mandate of the initiative is to fight poverty and decrease medication defaulters around Molweni.
“The Soup Kitchen initiative is a great initiative for the people of Molweni because in most cases people end up defaulting medication due to not having food during the day.
War room and its members also take food parcels and food already cooked at the Soup Kitchen to hand out to those who are unable to come and fetch it for themselves,” said Nyathikazi.
Ntombifikile Mbanjwa, who works as a volunteer cook expresses how much she loves her job.
“I’m a Ward 8 member and I come to Ward 9 to help cook for the vulnerable people without getting paid, although I do wish that we could get something, because we also have families to support, and transport fare as well,” said Mbanjwa.
Sipho Mhlongo, a diabetic and a regular food collector at the Molweni’s municipalities Soup Kitchen says that as a recipient of this initiative he is very grateful for everything that the community does for them. He says that government should promote initiatives like these in all South African communities.
“We are extremely grateful for the food we receive daily as we work at the municipalities’ vegetable garden. In some cases we come to work without lunchboxes and become very hungry, resulting in us not working the whole day due to hunger”, says Mhlongo.
Ester Bhengu, a pensioner who lives with her three grandchildren, said, “the main reason I collect food for my family is because I’m unemployed and so are my grandchildren.
My daughter has recently passed away and we have no-one to support us. The food we receive helps us and during the weekends the neighbours help us wherever they can.
Thandi Malinga, co-ordinator of Soup Kitchen says that ever since this initiative was introduced more and more people come forward to collect food.
“We do not chose as to who comes and collects food because we know that job opportunities are scarce and many people support their families from social grants which are often not enough,” said Malinga.