Food for the body
For the soul
For the community

Ladles of Love is about more than merely providing meals.
It’s about dignity, respect, and creating the kind of world we all want to live in.

Food for the body
For the soul
For the community

Ladles of Love is about more than merely providing meals.
It’s about dignity, respect, and creating the kind of world we all want to live in.

From 70 to 250 000 meals served per week in only 6 years

From 70 to 250 000 meals served per week in only 6 years

From 70 to 250 000 meals served per week in only 6 years

Our values

We serve our donors and beneficiaries with integrity, accountability, compassion, respect, and dignity.

Our promise

We promise to provide nutritious meals to as many people in need as we can, for as long as we can.

Our purpose

We enable enterprising people to provide food for themselves and their families, with dignity.

 

Our Story

The story of our charity organisation started when Danny Diliberto participated in a course through the Art of Living Foundation, inspiring him to create a project to give back to society.

Course participants were encouraged to head out into the streets of Cape Town to offer hot tea to homeless people. As a restaurateur, Danny decided instead to make use of his restaurant kitchen and cook up a fresh pot of soup.

While walking the streets of Cape Town, he encountered a homeless man, wrapped in an old duvet, who was shouting and swearing at the world out of frustration.

Danny offered him soup and instantly recognised the immense power of this simple gesture. The man stopped shouting, accepted the soup and thanked Danny before continuing on his way. The soup met a basic need. But, more than that, it also had the power to restore dignity, even if just for a moment.

At that moment, the soup kitchen was born.

Uncertainty about how to start a charity did not stop him. On a chilly July evening in 2014, a small team of volunteers came together to serve 70 hot meals at the first official soup kitchen. That same kitchen now happens every week – along with many others – serving hundreds of nutritious meals weekly.

Growing our impact

Our charity efforts started in Cape Town – a city with a large homeless community and extreme wealth disparity. Pre-pandemic surveys estimated that more than 7 000 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 it can sometimes be hard to see how anyone can make a meaningful difference.

A bowl of soup may not sound like much, but it’s a lifeline to some. And when people come together, incredible things happen.

From our humble beginning as a single soup kitchen, we’ve grown our network substantially. In six short years, Ladles of Love has grown from serving 70 meals at our very first soup kitchen to one of the most prolific food charity organisations in South Africa. Today, we support numerous other community kitchens, schools, social enterprises, and NPOs with much-needed groceries and other goods, allowing them to reach out further and touch the lives of the vulnerable who need it now more than ever.

Innovative, adaptable
and solution-driven

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the enormous number of starving people in need escalated across the city. Suddenly, we had to mobilise within restrictive confines to connect those in need with those who can help.

Our suburban Sandwich Drive was born: a city-wide initiative mobilising people to give back from the safety of their own homes.

In a matter of weeks, the Sandwich Drive had rallied families across the Cape to make sandwiches, delivering more than 250 000 sandwiches in the first week. Collectively, we’ve channelled more than 3 million sandwiches into our new and fast-expanding network of NPO beneficiaries and food charity organisations, and this number grows weekly.

While the sandwiches go a long way to serve an immediate need, we also realise that a bigger, more sustainable solution is needed.

So, we also work to collect and distribute up to 25 tons of produce weekly to various shelters, NPOs, schools, and other community projects to help them support those who are vulnerable and in need.

By working together, we can do more, reach further, and uplift communities to support themselves.

0
12
%

of SA lacks food security

0
6,800,000

South Africans experience hunger

0
1,700,000

households are affected

*This was before COVID-19. In 2020, these figures skyrocketed.

A community where everyone benefits

Our volunteers experience love and joy through the preparation of each sandwich and the serving of each meal. It’s about more than feeding the hungry. It’s about breaking down the social barriers that exist between us, and connecting people regardless of their gender, colour, religion, or social status. We’re building the nation we know we can be.

What we do is about so much more than a soup kitchen or a Sandwich Drive only. We want to help people to help themselves, which is why we’ve created a support network that helps to establish and support community kitchens and other NPOs. By building this network, we can empower more people to get involved, enable communities to become self-sustainable, and inspire volunteers to make the difference we all want to see in our country.

We refer to our work as Seva – a beautiful Sanskrit word that refers to the art of selfless service. However, it’s more than a desire to help others without wanting anything in return. It’s a genuine desire to uplift those around you.

Together, we can do anything

Our efforts are powered by love – the love of our seva warriors. Some come for one soup kitchen or Sandwich Hub session, while others return week after week. Others volunteer their skills in different ways, such as driving, sandwich making, fundraising initiatives, photography, videography, and logistics.

We’ve quickly become one of the most well-known volunteer organisations in Cape Town and we encourage anyone and everyone to volunteer with us at least once. Although volunteering is an incredibly humbling and eye-opening experience, it’s also full of love, joy and silliness. It fills your heart and feeds your soul.

It started with one thought, one pot, one person and now it’s a huge movement.

I just want to thank you for Ladles of Love and all the special people it’s brought into my life! Because of you we are able to connect in ways that bring such joy and purpose and I’m so grateful for you!Ladles of Love volunteer

Who we help

Feeding homeless people is how we started. Currently, our charity serves the homeless community of Cape Town three times per week. In addition, we also support other local non-profit organisations that support their communities in a number of ways – like Serving Hands and SAPS – by supplying them with soup, sandwiches, and fresh ingredients.

In 2016, we saw a need to go further. Instead of only helping homeless people, we wanted to offer fresh, nourishing food to anyone who might be in need. So, we also launched The Munch Club, our in-school feeding scheme designed to feed hungry children so they can better focus on their studies.

Currently, we support more than 130 beneficiaries, including NPOs, Community CAN projects, ECD projects, schools, churches, community centres, community farmers, and even local people who run soup kitchens from their own homes. Our focus is to invest in projects that are sustainable and will make a lasting change to the plight of vulnerable communities.

These beneficiaries are spread all over the Western Cape peninsula – from Wellington to Noordhoek and everywhere in between, including Khayelitsha, Delft, Tafelsig, Phillipi, and Gugulethu.

How to get involved

There are so many ways to help. From boiling eggs or making sandwiches at home, to organising a fundraiser or helping us set up a community kitchen. A monthly contribution would be ideal, but a once-off donation is equally appreciated. 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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