The Sandwich and Essential Groceries Drive

Focussed on feeding hungry people: Finding new ways to best nourish the nation.

For all its beauty, Cape Town also has its dark side. Economic and social inequality is arguably nowhere more evident in South Africa than here. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which fuelled the disparate nature of the local communities, it was estimated that more than 7 000 homeless people were living on the streets of this city alone, while thousands of families were vulnerable and in need of support.

This figure has since increased significantly, and feeding hungry people became a much more mammoth task. An innovative and effective solution was needed to provide those most in need with nutritious meals.

What Ladles of Love needed was a game changer that would ramp up our ability to source and supply food at much larger volumes, much faster.

The birth of the
Sandwich Drive

With the pandemic in full swing and people needing more support than ever, one of our volunteers, Samara Stern, had the idea for people to start making sandwiches and boil eggs from the safety and comfort of their own homes. We would then collect and distribute these ready-made sandwiches and eggs through our network of beneficiaries, helping us reach more people than ever before.

This was an inspired idea. With people suddenly working from home, not going to the office or school, and not socialising in public, they had much more free time on their hands and there was a need to keep busy and do something for the greater good. At the same time, the initiative mobilised people in their own homes, allowing them to get involved and do great things while maintaining a safe distance.

*This film was made back in May 2020… we’ve sent out millions of sandwiches since then!

What started as a small-scale, door-to-door operation among the residents in Sea Point, rapidly spread across the whole Cape Peninsula. Depots sprang up from Noordhoek to Durbanville, from Helderberg to Milnerton, and everywhere in between. Suddenly, tens of thousands of sandwiches started arriving for distribution.

The movement exploded into a hugely successful campaign with over 3 million sandwiches distributed into the community since the start of lockdown. These simple sandwiches have become a lifeline for beneficiaries serving the community.

sandwich icon in black

More than 150 000 sandwiches are distributed monthly

While this is a stellar number, it’s down from about 450 000 sandwiches a month at our peak. So many people are still without income and reeling from the effects of the pandemic – and will be for months to come. As others return to work or school, the amount of sandwiches and eggs we receive has dwindled, but the need for them is greater than ever. We desperately need more people to join this drive – even if it’s only to contribute one loaf per week. Each sandwich matters, and people are really depending on this.

Help us fight hunger as we provide nutritious meals to children and families in need.

The Essential Groceries Drive

While the sandwiches pose a brilliant and instant solution to a pressing problem, we also realise that we simultaneously need to build a more sustainable approach to feeding hungry people and ensuring food sustainability in our communities.

How to help hungry children in a meaningful way

There are so many wonderful individuals, community leaders, soup kitchens, and other independent non-profit organisations that work hard to fight hunger in our communities. But they struggle to keep up. So, we started a drive to collect groceries and other essential items (think toiletries, dried goods, non-perishables, and more). In addition to our soup kitchens, we act as a collector and distributor, supplying these necessary items to our beneficiaries for use in their efforts to serve the community. By focussing on food distribution and working together with community organisations, we’re so much more effective at fighting hunger. Today, we’re feeding more hungry people than ever before.

Meet some of our awesome partners

There are so many ways businesses can work with charities to make a real difference in the world we live in. Below are a selection of our amazing long-term partners that help us in different ways. Read on to get some creative ideas of how your business can get involved, and be inspired!

Sun International

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic hitting our shores, Ladles of Love was serving approximately 15 000 meals per month from our wonderful onsite kitchen at The Hope Exchange, Roeland Street. We love that place but, as our operation expanded tremendously during the lockdown, it soon became evident that the venue isn’t anywhere near big enough.

After a few months at CTICC where we initially scaled up, we had to move on. That’s when Sun International came to our rescue. They sponsored our current venue at GrandWest, allowing us to effectively store all our food, distribute supplies to beneficiaries, and keep our team safe and socially distanced at work.

Sun International GrandWest warehouse floor covered with pallets of vegetables, soft drinks and produce

Our original kitchen still caters to the homeless kitchens we run, but thanks to Sun International we have a home for all our food and an awesome place to work. Various other Sun International venues across the country also helped by hosting our temporary regional depots for several months in 2020. We would have been lost without them during the expansion.

A man drives a forklift on loan from Goscor, a business supporting charities like Ladles of Love

Goscor

While a large venue is so useful and enabling, it also comes with additional logistical challenges. Our warehouse is massive. We’ve handled 1,2 million kilograms of produce in the last six months alone, not to mention millions of sandwiches, hot meals, boiled eggs, and more.

The Goscor Group might seem like an unexpected business supporting charities with their products – specifically their lift truck division – but they’re the perfect partner. They sponsor a Goscor forklift for use around our HQ, making our operation so much easier, faster, and more effective.

Wiggle Car Hire

With the reach of Ladles of Love growing so quickly and the demand for food skyrocketing during the pandemic, we needed ways to get to the communities we serve. Wiggle Car Hire provided the solution. They generously made one of their vehicles available to us for six months at the start of lockdown when demand for our food was shooting up. Since then, they’ve lent us cars regularly to enable us to visit beneficiaries and do site inspections.

A Land Rover Discovery, on loan from Wiggle, is parked onsite at a Ladles of Love project

Team building

For a great team-building effort that also makes a positive difference in your community, why not take part in our Sandwich Drive? It’s quick and easy, simple to organise, and is something your whole team can be a part of. What’s more, you can touch the lives of hundreds of people in no time.

More CSR initiatives

There are many benefits for businesses to take part in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives – from volunteering opportunities for staff to content for PR efforts. We take you through some of these benefits and ways a business and charity can work together in our handy CSR Guide.

For more information on donations and Corporate Social Responsibility, visit our handy CSR Guide.

Thank you for being part of our #HumanityAgainstHunger drive. By giving so freely in this generous way, you’re making a world of difference.

We simply cannot do this without you.

More ways to get involved

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Donate Money

Volunteer

Donate Groceries

Sandwich Drive

Raise Funds

Donate Money

Donate Products/Services

Raise Funds

Sponsor a Project

Business CSR Guide