NGO spreads the love for World Sandwich Day

The Sarmiethon at Makers Landing was a hub of activity.

Makers Landing at the Cruise Terminal was a hub of activity on Thursday November 3, where corporates, NGOs and members of the public participated in a sandwich-making drive, aiming to make 100 000 sandwiches for the needy.

The Sarmiethon, hosted by food relief NGO Ladles of Love, took place on International Sandwich Day, marked annually on November 3. There was also a Sarmiethon held in Johannesburg at the same time.

The aim was for Cape Town to make 70 000 sandwiches, and Johannesburg to make 30 000, and distribute them to people in need, especially children, within 24 hours.

The public could also participate by donating funds for sandwiches via Ladles of Love’s online store.

The total numbers are yet to be released.

Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto, Waterfront social impact manager Yumna Mathese and Blue Ribbon Brand engagement coordinator Alistair Laguma.

Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto said the sandwich has become such an important part of Ladles of Love – “the joy it brings to children and the way it provides immediate relief to a hungry person”.

Companies competed to make the most sandwiches and win prizes on the day, and they also opened up tables for the public to come and help by registering a time slot.

Prizes were awarded to the table which made the most sandwiches, the table with the most “gees”, among other categories.

He said the money collected from the online call of gifting a sandwich was going to be used to continue the food relief projects of Ladles of Love, which, according to Mr Diliberto, feeds about 35 000 people a day.

Meanwhile, the team at the V&A Waterfront, which sponsored the venue for the Sarmiethon, had joined in on the drive at their head offices by making sandwiches.

The Waterfront social impact manager, Yumna Mathese, said food relief was an important part of their outreach, especially since the pandemic, which increased the demand. “Food relief is an ongoing issue that needs ongoing support, and we will continue supporting Ladles of Love, and encourage others to do so”.

Ms Mathese said that they have also pledged that for every meal purchased at one of the Waterfront’s restaurants, they will donate a sandwich. She said they were aiming to donate 14 000 sandwiches from meals purchased at their restaurants on Thursday.

The final numbers are yet to be released.

Athlone-based food relief NGO Serving Hands representatives are, from left, Joy Petersen and Gwen Petersen from Athlone, Serving hands founder Insaaf Manuel from Athlone, Nazaama Ceosyn from Grassy Park and Gaynore Africa from Athlone.

Athlone-based food relief NGO Serving Hands had also joined in on the fun, and were the title holders for the most sandwiches made at last year’s Sarmiethon event.

Serving Hands founder Insaaf Manuel said Ladles of Love was supportive of their feeding initiative, and always wanted to help and give back to the organisation where they can help.

“It’s easy to make a sandwich, it’s so important to our communities, especially if it’s a peanut butter and jam one because it’s sweet and filling. I think this was a fantastic idea for Ladles of Love to hold a Sarmiethon, where so many sandwiches could be made to benefit so many communities.”

Julian Carolus from Ottery and Kashief Hendricks from Rocklands in Mitchell’s Plain bring the gees.

Mary-Anne Musekiwa, the committee chairperson and chief financial officer at Coronation, which was the headline sponsor of the Sarmiethon, said she was excited about the enthusiasm of the people who really wanted to give back.

Coronation had joined by having a corporate team present to help make sandwiches. “It’s really important that people understand how bad the food insecurity issue is in South Africa. Over 13 million are insecure in South Africa.

“Initiatives such as this are small ways we can give back to our communities. You can’t work if you are hungry, and you can’t learn if you are hungry, so it is important that we continue to support causes that try to tackle the problem, and educate people on the cause.”

Husband and wife team Rashied Julies, left, and Shahieda Julies, right, from Woodstock. In the middle is Felecity Labuschagne from Melkbosstrand.
Ladles of Love representative Hilary Stern, Bianca Kotzen from Gardens and Michael Katzenellenbogen from Three Anchor Bay.
Leigh Brauer from Green Point, Candice Venter from Claremont and Maritah Meck from Zonnebloem
Colleen Conradie from Bothasig and Sule Steenkamp, who came all the way from Northern Cape to assist.
Shawn Cummings from Bothasig, Shakeel Jacobs from Eerste River and Brett Tessendorf from Somerset West.
Fazlin Williams from Grassy Park gets busy with spreading the jam.