Chefs with Compassion’s future of rescuing food to provide nutritious meals for hungry South Africans has been secured for the next 18 months, courtesy of a partnership with specialist insurance company, Compass Insure. The sponsorship comes at a pivotal time for Chefs with Compassion and for the country, as the ravages of the second wave of Covid-19 are felt across South Africa.
The volunteer-based organisation has served more than 1,5 million meals to food vulnerable people since the start of lockdown by rescuing food that would have ended up in landfill. Since the 6th of April last year, Chefs with Compassion has rescued more than 470 tonnes of food and served 1 382 632 meals. Nothing goes to waste – 30.24 tonnes or 6.43% of ingredients that are not fit for human consumption has been sent to community-driven pig farmers. This remarkable achievement has been made possible by a volunteer network of compassionate chefs and community caterers serving nutritious meals to recipients supported by more than 30 beneficiary organisations.
Initially operating from the HTA School of Culinary Art for the first five months of lockdown, Chefs with Compassion has been sustained by generous partners and donations, most notably the South African Chefs Association. Since moving into a ‘sharehouse’ near the Joburg Fresh Produce Market in City Deep, overhead costs such as rent, utilities, logistics, reimbursement for volunteer transport costs, and a sharehouse manager, have increased. “The partnership with Compass Insure enables the sustainability of the operation, allowing us to continue our mission of rescuing food and feeding those most in need. We are deeply grateful to Compass Insure for the confidence they have placed in our relatively young organisation,” says Arnold Tanzer, chairman of the board of Chefs with Compassion.
In South Africa, over 10 million tonnes of food goes to waste every year, while more than 16 million people go hungry each day. Through its food rescue partner Nosh Food Rescue NPC, Chefs with Compassion collects a significant amount of fit-for-consumption surplus produce that would end up in landfill, or incinerated. These raw ingredients are then cooked and distributed to the needy through the Chefs with Compassion volunteer network.
“The intent of Chefs with Compassion, which is to achieve both food sustainability and feed the hungry, resonates with us. It is a simple concept that achieves significant results on an ongoing basis. We hope that our support will help the organisation deepen its roots and that we can create some exciting initiatives to boost the amazing work already done by a team of passionate and committed people. Our goal is simple – to help Chefs with Compassion cook many more meals,” comments Ismail Ismail, MD of Compass Insure.