As food rescue organisation Chefs with Compassion (CWC) celebrates its 2 million meal milestone since launching in May 2020, software company, SYSPRO, has announced a partnership aimed at reducing unnecessary food waste and alleviating hunger.
While millions of people around the world go hungry, it is hard to believe that around 30% of the world’s food is being wasted, with 10.3 million tons wasted in South Africa alone. There is no single solution that would end hunger within South Africa or across the globe. A challenge like this requires a collaborative effort.
Chefs with Compassion is a non-profit organisation that aims to rescue food, cook and feed hungry South Africans. Launched in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CWC has provided over 2.1 million meals across Gauteng and aims to continue as long as the need – and the supply of nutritious rescued food – remains.
“Producing over 2 million meals is an incredible feat and we could not be prouder to partner with an organisation like Chefs with Compassion. It is incredibly disheartening to see tons of food wasted each year, while thousands of South Africans are going hungry. We at SYSPRO are excited to see what we can bring to the table as we tackle the hunger crisis within South Africa,” says Angela Chandler, SYSPRO Sales and Branch Administrator.
Rescue, cook, feed
Currently, CWC produces over 18 000 meals per week, which requires extremely large amounts of fresh produce and ingredients. Through a network of volunteers and food donors, CWC has rescued 731 tons of food surplus that would otherwise have gone to waste. This food rescue effort not only reduces the amount of food wasted, significantly reducing the impact on the environment through harmful methane gases, but lays the foundation for CWC’s operations.
Once the produce and ingredients have been collected, community cooks, caterers and compassionate chefs across the province prepare, cook, and distribute nutritious meals to the thousands of South Africans in need. Today, 32 kitchens and 30 beneficiary organisations are part of CWC’s network.
Within South Africa, every day 600,000 children and 20 million adults go hungry. To meet this need CWC aims to ramp up its operations from 18 500 meals to 100 000 meals a week. While this is nowhere near solving the hunger problem within South Africa, every meal produced will have a positive impact on the lives of food vulnerable people, and takes CWC one step closer to their goal.
There is still much work to do
CWC’s mission is simple. Rescue, cook and feed. However, alleviating hunger in South Africa is far more complicated and will require a concerted effort not only from NPO’s but government, civil society and the private sector.
“We are delighted that SYSPRO has come on board alongside our premiere sponsor, Compass Insure. The Chefs with Compassion operations are successful because of the collaboration between individuals, partners and organisations. The partnership with Compass Insure over the past year has assisted us in strengthening the foundations of CWC and, alongside SYSPRO’s vast experience with logistics in the food and beverage industry, these relationships will make a valuable contribution to Chefs with Compassion’s reach and impact,” says Marion Tanzer, General Manager of Chefs with Compassion.
Much like any NPO, CWC relies on the spirit of volunteerism to continue its operations. As its operations expand, funding, finding new sources of fresh produce and other food donations, and the logistics of their operations are just some of the many challenges CWC encounters daily. With the goal of producing 100 000 meals per week, there is still much work to be done and more partners are needed to tackle this challenge.