Community soup kitchen Chev’s Kitchen brings holiday cheer to Athlone children
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Cape Town – Close to 300 children were reminded of the festive season joy and spirit of giving over the weekend in Athlone.
Community soup kitchen Chev’s Kitchen, founded by Chevano Frans, 21, from Kewtown, Athlone, with about 15 volunteers, hosted the children on Saturday for an early Christmas party and end-of-year celebration.
Chev’s Kitchen has been operational since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to provide food relief during the lockdown.
“After the lockdown happened, everything closed, campus closed and I just started thinking, ‘what about the hungry people’. We’ve always had soup kitchens in the area but because of Covid-19, people became scared to give and places started closing,” said Frans.
With a R150 left for travelling to campus, he chose to instead make sandwiches to be distributed to his community.
They were distributed throughout April, and with the assistance from the Oranjezicht Community Action Network, he was able to provide meals such as breyani and lentils.
During winter, Chev’s Kitchen, with Ladles of Love, provided meals five days a week.
Children were treated to a day of fun with a jumping castle, toffee apples, cupcakes, ice lollies, hot dogs, beverages, candy floss, party packs and gift bags with sanitary packs and toys.
Parents and the elderly were not left behind and were served curry and rice and handed a small food parcel.
“My mother was a single parent for about 14 years. When it comes to the end of the month before social grants come in, you as a child must go to the neighbours to ask for bread, taxi fare for school, rice, that was me growing up until I reached high school,” he said.
He urged people to pay it forward by giving back to one’s community, “if you have the means to”.
Volunteer from the UK, Caroline Lacy, 33, a part of the Community Action Network, who started working with Chev’s Kitchen in August, said: “It’s been really nice because I am a volunteer and I bring sandwiches for Chev’s and then he uses it to give to the communities so it’s actually nice to see some of the community and the children, because we don’t always see the end of what we do.”
Non-profit organisation, Ladles of Love co-ordinator, Lee-Ellen Marcow said Chev’s Kitchen has been one of their beneficiaries since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which they assisted with groceries and sandwiches to feed around 450 people in Kewtown.