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Caring cyclists help feed community

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

Twenty children assisted the Gugulethu Community Kitchen to deliver food to township residents’ homes, by bicycle, during the lockdown-enforced school holiday.Children from the Gugulethu Community Kitchen who deliver meals to the community.

The non-profit organisation’s Director, Maria Dlokolo, says the idea to use bicycles came about last year when it realised that the elderly, who have comorbidities, and people with disabilities could not move freely in the community due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

The organisation spoke to Gugulethu-Seaboard CAN, a group of Atlantic Seaboard residents who came together to support Capetonians with COVID-19 challenges, and the idea to use bicycles was sparked. 

“When schools are open, we usually work with unemployed youngsters, but they often have other commitments. Hence the idea to ask school children for help. They delivered food to more than 220 people in the township,” says Dlokolo.

The project is part of the community kitchen’s work to cook and serve meals to over 600 people daily, says Dlokolo. The bicycles are used to deliver breakfast and lunch from Monday to Saturday, with breakfast packs delivered from 06:30am.

“The Gugulethu-Seaboard CAN supports Gugulethu, a working-class suburb of approximately 25 000 people. The average monthly household income in the area is under R3 000, and over 60% of the working age population is not economically active,” says Dlokolo.

The community kitchen cooks over 40 kilograms of chicken a day. It also serves samp, rice and vegetables for lunch. Breakfast is usually maize meal porridge or oats.

“The Department of Social Development assists us with vouchers, every two weeks, which we use to buy R1 000 worth of spices, oil and soup.

The Violence Prevention Through Urban Planning community development organisation also gives us R1 500 in vouchers, which helps buy meat and other things we need," she says.