Donating done differently due to Covid-19

Volunteers at Ladles of Love help cook meals for the citys homeless people. They are in need of donations.

Feeding schemes and donation drop-offs for the the needy will be done differently during lockdown, which is set to end at midnight on Thursday April 16.

As the City of Cape Town works to move homeless people to temporary shelters around the metropole, feeding schemes are moving towards feeding homeless at these sites, rather than having gatherings at soup kitchens.

The City had set up a channel to facilitate donations to vulnerable groups, which include street people, who have been moved to temporary shelters, residents at old age homes, frail care centres and the indigent.

The City has established a dedicated number – 021 597 6004 – as well as an email address, which is disaster.donations@capetown.gov.za

One of the NGO partners, the South African Red Cross Society, has also established a point of contact for donations. They can call 021 797 5360 or email info.wc@redcross.org.za

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security said a critical need that has been identified is blankets.

“The City realises that, because stores are closed, residents are not able to buy blankets. So, we appeal for any spare blankets from your home that are clean and in good condition.”

He said food parcels will also be made for indigent residents using non -perishable items.

“Trolleys have been made available at Shoprite, Checkers and Pick * Pay stores, so we ask the public to deposit any food or blanket donations in these trolleys when they leave home to top up on essential goods.”

He said anyone who is in a position to donate larger quantities is asked to contact the City’s disaster risk management centre.

“Cape Town has an established track record as a very giving city and we appeal to our residents who are able to spare something extra during this turbulent time, to build on that track record and please reach out and help where they can,” said Mr Smith.

Meanwhile, CBD-based soup kitchen Ladles of Love is feeding an estimated 1 000 homeless in Cape Town’s city centre during the lockdown and the organisation called for monetary donations and donations of non-perishable goods where possible.

Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto said the NGO needs as much support as possible so that the team of volunteers can cook and provide around 2 000 meals a day – breakfast and lunch – to at least
1 000 people in the CBD’s lock-down shelters.

“We have committed with the City to assist the homeless with food for the temporary shelters they are erecting in the CBD and therefore ongoing donations are key during this challenging time.

“We will definitely be supporting these sites with two meals daily and if another site becomes available in the CBD, we will do our best to support this as well, depending on monetary and food donations.”

The shelters they are focusing on is The Haven Night Shelters in Green Point and District Six, as well as the Culemborg Safe Space.

Mr Dilberto said other than monetary donations, which help with bulk buying ingredients, other ongoing donations of non-perishable food items, as well as a continuous stream of vegetables and bottled water are needed daily.

He said people can get involved by joining the team as a volunteer, donating, sponsoring, or becoming a partner. Visit the Ladles of Love Facebook page or go to https://www.ladlesoflove.org.za for more information.

To discuss corporate donations, call Bernard Stern on 083 601 2441, and to be a remote volunteer, call Samara Stern on 076 064 3694.

Due to lockdown regulations, the Service Dining Rooms in Canterbury Street, can no longer serve food at its premises.

Spokesperson Jill Goldberg said as feeding schemes were not classified as an essential service, no volunteers were allowed to help at the kitchen, and most of the permanent staff were expected to stay at home.

She said they have now partnered with the City and other NGOs to deliver food to the shelters – both temporary and permanent.

“We are not allowed to serve food from our own premises as the number of people who wait in line for a hot meal, which is then eaten sitting down in the dining area, far outnumbers the maximum number of people allowed to be in one space at a time. Social distancing is also problematic here.

“We have also been distributing food packs to micro groups who still had to sleep outside.”

The NGO sends food to centres across the city, including the Masejonge Children’s Feeding Scheme in Nyanga, Solomon’s Haven in Mitchell’s Plain, The Haven Night Shelters in District Six and Green Point, Youth Solutions SA, the YMCA Children’s Section, Loaves & Fishes in Observatory, the Factreton Soup Kitchen, and Streetscapes.

Ms Goldberg said homeless people who are still on the streets in the CBD could go to The Haven Night Shelter in Napier Street, or the Culemborg Safe Space to get a meal, even if there are no shelter space available.