South Africa, Life, etc

Stretch Kitchen: Using downtime to uplift less fortunate

By Liesl Venter 6 October 2015

Wednesday are slow days at Stretch Inc so the company decided to put the time to use and open a soup kitchen in Zonnebloem, Cape Town. Within only a few weeks Stretch Kitchen has attracted a number of sponsors and it is already feeding more than 100 people once a week. By LIESL VENTER, CSR NEWSROOM.

All photos by JENNIFER BRUCE.

A new soup kitchen in Zonnebloem, Cape Town, is proving that it does not take much to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

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Watch: Stretch Kitchen

The brainchild of Daniel Meyer, director of bedouin tent company Stretch Inc, the soup kitchen managed to get several sponsors on board within only a few weeks and is already feeding more than 100 people once a week.

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We never realised the impact this would have. What feels like only a small contribution on our part is making a huge difference to these people,” Meyer said. He decided to start the kitchen using resources he had available in his company after seeing the impact of giving food to homeless people during a personal development programme.

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Wednesdays are administrative days at our company and so none of the team is all that busy. We decided to put the time and our equipment to use and open a soup kitchen.”

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The soup kitchen is aptly called Stretch Kitchen. Meyer and his business partner, Aiden Gerber, and several employees put up a tent every Wednesday afternoon before setting out a spread of soup and bread.

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Initially we were making the soup ourselves but the Kloof Street Kwikspar has come on board and are now sponsoring the soup while Knead Bakery in Gardens is donating the bread,” said Meyer. “The first week we had less than 10 people here. We are now at more than 100 and the queue is growing.”

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According to a recent study by the city’s mayoral committee for social development, there are more than 7,000 homeless people in Cape Town. The phenomenon is considered extremely complex and the city has increased its efforts to deal with it. The city has called on Cape Town residents to work with it and nonprofit organisations to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets. DM

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