Student chef and long-time Chefs with Compassion volunteer Austine Nxumalo plans how he’ll be using the Goldi chicken donated by Astral for the Mandela Day challenge. Supplied image.
Student chef and long-time Chefs with Compassion volunteer Austine Nxumalo plans how he’ll be using the Goldi chicken donated by Astral for the Mandela Day challenge. Supplied image.

Poultry farmers make ’67’ magic for Mandela Day

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 18, 2021

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Johannesburg - The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) is taking hands with NGO Chefs with Compassion (CWC) this Mandela Day for a special collaboration that has seen over eight tons of chicken meat and almost 10 000 eggs donated by the farmers to help prepare 67 000 litres of soup for destitute and vulnerable communities.

“There is so much hardship in this troubled time, so as an industry we want to reach out in brotherhood this Mandela Day to help those who are facing hunger. For one day at least, there will be a warm and nutritious, protein-rich meal for each of the people reached by this initiative,” says Izaak Breitenbach, GM of Sapa’s broiler organisation.

It is the second Mandela Day that CWC, which was established in response to the hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and which has prepared over 1.7 million meals since last April, will attempt the challenge in 10 cities around the country.

Sapa members contributed chicken meat and eggs in combinations of the Madiba magic number of 67, with three of the biggest producers, Astral Foods, RCL Foods and Country Bird Holdings challenging one another to donate chicken meat worth R67 000, or around 2.6 tons, each.

Quantum Foods joined in with 67 x 10 dozen Nulaid eggs, and East London producer Beckley Brothers and the Pietermaritzburg-based KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute each pitching in with 67 dozen eggs.

Gauteng egg farmer Aldabri Agricultural pledged 67 litres of liquid eggs and 67 trays each of large and extra-large eggs. A further ton of meat was donated by Bush-Valley Chicken Farm in Tzaneen, ensuring that feeding programmes in several outlying districts can also benefit from the initiative.

According to Chefs with Compassion GM Marion Tanzer the donations orchestrated by Sapa are making a difference between being able to offer vegetable soup, and more nutritious protein-rich chicken soup to vulnerable people across greater Joburg, who will be receive a Mandela Day meal on Sunday.

“This has been such an overwhelming gesture of generosity – we really had to scramble with logistics to find storage space for so much chicken and eggs in Johannesburg this past week,” she says. “The poultry industry has been such a wonderful, caring supporter and a key partner in fighting hunger in South Africa.

“Thanks to SA Poultry, we will be able to not only provide meals on Mandela Day, but there is enough to last for the rest of the month, to enrich the meals we prepare on an ongoing basis with the luxury of meat, which we don’t often have,” says Tanzer.

“Having so many eggs available is also such a treat, and will enable us to bake breads and cakes, and serve egg-mayo sandwiches and boiled eggs … The people in the communities we support rarely have access to these, so what a blessing to be able to share this in Madiba’s name.”

The NGO’s centre of operation in Gauteng on Mandela Day will be the HTA School of Culinary Art in Randburg, where the challenge to cook 67 000 litres of soup by 1pm will start early on Sunday morning. Cooking will take place in CWC’s 36 participating kitchen hubs across the country, and meals will subsequently be delivered to soup kitchens and feeding schemes in the communities that each kitchen supports, across Soweto, Ekurhuleni, Tembisa, Alexandra, inner-city Joburg and informal settlements across the province.

Says Breitenbach: “We know that Chefs with Compassion reached their targeted 67 000 litres of soup in 2020, so this year we hope that with the extra poultry injection, they will stretch that even further and chase hunger from the door for even more people.”

The Saturday Star

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