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The Sandwich and Essential Groceries Drive

Pay forward home-made sandwiches and/or essential groceries via our network of giving and receiving. Find you nearest drop off point below…

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.

Small child at a soup kitchen wearing a facemask and holding a sandwich
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.

More ways to get involved

There are so many ways to help – from making sandwiches at home, to sponsoring a community kitchen. Every bit of support matters, and we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to get involved and make a real, measurable difference.

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