It is no secret that the Coronavirus and lockdown has brought about an immense need for food and shelter – especially in more rural and less fortunate areas. Despite the challenges we are all facing on various levels, it’s incredibly heart-warming to see how people reach out and help where they can.
Chef Bertus Basson – well known for restaurants like Overture, Eike, Spek & Bone and De Vrije Burger – and many other local chefs from establishments like Spier Wine Farm, Neethlingshof, Gåte at Quoin Rock, Jardine Restaurant, Longtable at Haskell, Lanzerac, Hussar Grill, Blaauwklippen, The Table at De Meye and De Warenmarkt have joined forces to help fight hunger in the greater Stellenbosch community. They have set up a soup kitchen that produces no less than 20 000 nutritius portions per week.
A couple of these local restaurants have been cooking soup for Jamestown during the winter months even before lockdown and they started cooking soup during lockdown when they realised that there was a need for it. They put out a call out to restaurants in the area through a local forum, Tasting Stellenbosch and with the help of a local event hiring company, Ten of Cups, they were able to build a large production kitchen with Stellenbosch Unite.
Apart from the soup kitchen, Bertus Basson’s restaurants have a very generous donation schedule throughout Stellenbosch and the Western Cape. They support Community Keepers, Pebbles Project and Usiko.
Bertus says that there is great need and that it is growing every day. “People do appreciate it.”
I guess lockdown is teaching us all various lessons. We’ve all learned to show more compassion, to be a little more selfless and to give even when you’re inclined to save it for yourself. Bertus says there are three other things that lockdown has taught him as well:
- He needs to make more time for his family
- Everything will be okay in the end
- He hated washing dishes for 35 days
He is convinced that by being positive, we can make a difference during this crisis.