Western Cape Chefs and Communities Helping During COVID-19

Previously on the blog, I compiled a short post on some of the wine farms banding together to help during the COVID-19 pandemic… And it was wonderful to see the response and viewership that post enjoyed.

In light of this and because I feel people need good news now more than ever, I wanted to promote more positive action and brave efforts in a time where, for much of South Africa (and indeed, the world), it is hard to make ends meet and in many cases, even to put food on the table.

For this post though, I decided to cover some of the Western Cape chefs and communities helping during COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown levels.

Cape Chefs and Communities Providing Food Relief

Around the province, everyone from top chefs to fine dining restaurants and beloved guesthouses have come on board, selflessly putting themselves on the frontline to support, help and give back to their communities. This is not just going the extra mile, in my view – this is going far beyond it.

We are facing unprecedented global-, health- and economic-times – but there is still so much goodness and unity to be found. And as ever, South Africa has found ways to unite as a nation and help each other.

This has been even clearer in my home province of the Western Cape, where restaurants, chefs, local businesses and guesthouses have done their bit (and hundredfold) to help our most vulnerable citizens through these trying times.

Let’s honour them below:

1) Stellenbosch Unite


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#StellenboschUnite is a “collaborative aid action purposed to provide social support to vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Their main target, above all else, is to supply weekly food packages to identified vulnerable families – and they have assisted on a huge scale, both now during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the past.

Just looking at their website stats today (22 May), I can see that over R2 million has been donated by private donors; volunteers have put in 5 500+ hours and 12 600+ food parcels have been distributed… let that sink in for a minute.

Who is involved:

This collaborative initiative brings together Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch University, Visit Stellenbosch (civil society), SCAN (Stellenbosch Civil Advocacy Network, representing the non-profit sector) and the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust (administrators).

How they are helping:

How it works is that food parcels (containing basic staples like maize meal, rice, oil and beans) are assembled and distributed through a support network.

With these food parcels, Stellenbosch Unite is helping the following communities stave off hunger:
– Cloetesville
– Devon Valley
– Farming Communities
– Groendal
– Idas Valley
– Jamestown
– Kayamandi
– Klapmuts
– Kylemore

– La Motte Settlement
– Langerug
– Lanquedoc
– Mooiwater
– Mountainview
– Pniël
– Raithby
– Vlottenburg
– Wemmershoek


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However, Stellenbosch Unite is not alone because top local chefs and restaurants – like Chef Bertus Basson (Overture, Eike by Bertus Basson, Spek en Bone, De Vrije Burger), Spier Wine Farm, Blaauwklippen, Neetlingshof (Brendan Stein), Gåte at Quoin Rock (James Would), Restaurant Jardine (George Jardine), The Hussar Grill and The Table at De Meye to name a few – have joined forces with them by helping to establish a soup kitchen, which has seen some 20 000 nutritious portions served up per week.

How you can help them:

People can choose to offer help (‘I want to help‘) through donations and volunteer work.

But honestly, even if you cannot assist them financially or through volunteer work, just promoting them online or re-sharing their posts so others can also learn about this wonderful initiative is a way of showing your support and admiration.

For more information on Stellenbosch Unite or to make a donation, please visit: or email

You can also send them a Whatsapp or text message via +27 (062) 206 8031.

Please also support and follow them on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2) Together Franschhoek


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Much like neighbouring Stellenbosch, Franschhoek has also come together to help community members in a big way.

Thanks to the combined efforts of Together Franschhoek and many others, food is being provided to those most in need in the Franschhoek Valley.

Who is involved:

Together Franschhoek and a host of local chefs, businesses, wine farms, community leaders, volunteers, NGOs and other stakeholders.

To name a few, FRANCO, Franschhoek Lion Ladies, Isabelo, Chris Erasmus (Foliage), Margot Janse (Isabelo), Mont Rochelle, Darren Badenhorst (Le Coin Français), Kamva Lethu Soup Kitchen, Build It Franschhoek, Colin and Annalise Atkins (Le Petit Paris Guest House), Le chêne Restaurant, Soap n Soup to Save Lives and many others.

How they are helping:

With established food distribution points and soup kitchens dotted throughout the valley, as well as handwashing stations to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Together Franschhoek team is providing food relief, while keeping social distancing measures and guidelines firmly in place.

They are also attending to other needs, like winter clothing and bedding donations as our Cape winter fast approaches.

As of 15 May, they had processed 53 000 kilograms of food; donated 1 050 masks;  volunteered a combined 51 500 hours; established 12 soup kitchens (supplied with fresh produce and dry goods donations and assisted by local volunteers); and installed 14 hand-washing stations around the valley.


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How you can help them:

Make a donation to any or all of the following:

Nedbank (Franschhoek)
Branch #167005
Account : 1670006654
Reference No: FDM Fund

First National Bank- Franschhoek
Branch #250655
Account : 62802899221
Reference No: FDM Fund

Franschhoek Lions Ladies
Nedbank- Franschhoek
Account: 2008 176 894
Code: 147 005
Ref: Lock Down

For more information on Together Franschhoek or to make a donation, please visit: Together Franschhoek (Facebook) or email

Please also support and follow them on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

3) Ladles of Love


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Ladles of Love, a big-hearted, volunteer-run soup kitchen drive in the Mother City, first established in 2014 by the inspirational Danny Diliberto, continues to feed the city during the COVID-19 pandemic with their COVID-19 Food and Sandwich Drive.

As of 19 May, they had collected and distributed 550 000 sandwiches, 100 000 eggs and 110 tonnes of fresh produce… And with a little help from their friends, they are determined to continue feeding the soul and serving meals with love to those less fortunate but most in need.

Who is involved:

Aside from the Ladles of Love team, many local restaurants, chefs and businesses have stepped in to help in whatever way they can.

These include the likes of Janse & Co, Dish Food & Social, Jason Lilley/Jason Bakery, My SPAR, Veronica Canha-Hibbert (Silo Hotel), Tjing Tjing, Guy Bennett (GIGI/Gorgeous George Hotel) and Beerhouse South Africa to name a few.

How they are helping:

Their food and sandwich drive is helping to combat hunger in Cape Town now more than ever.

Last week, based at the CTICC, they reached 5 000 meals a day and that is with social distancing measures in place.

How you can help:

You can sign up as a donor, make sandwiches or buy groceries according to their carefully outlined guidelines (see here) and drop off at the nearest depot.  Or choose to donate directly to the Ladles of Love via EFT, SnapScan or PayFast… This will all go a long way to help them!

Best of all, they have depots across the city – CBD, Southern Suburbs, Northern Suburbs, Atlantic Seaboard, South Peninsula – and beyond in the Helderberg and West Coast regions too.


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For more information on Ladles of Love or to make a donation, please visit: or email or

Please also support and follow them on social media: Twitter and Instagram.

Legends, Every One of Them

In conclusion, I feel that each of these community initiatives, businesses, restaurants and chefs are utterly commendable. Especially to give so much of themselves, their time and their efforts during this pandemic.

Thank you to each and every person involved in these wonderful community drives.

We salute you and we are privileged to call such fine restaurants, businesses, community organisations, people, wine farms and chefs our fellow South Africans.


As I have compiled this post independently, I apologise in advance if I have left anything out or cited any incorrect facts/stats.

I have tried to extensively source and research stats, information, guidelines and contact details to the best of my ability from the relevant, official websites, news channels and social media accounts – and have done my best to provide an honest, factual account of each initiative.

I also tried to list as many volunteers and helpers as possible – but there were simply too many to name. However, this in no way detracts from the outstanding, selfless and above all, kind efforts of every single individual involved with these community initiatives and food drives.

You are all legends – thank you for your bravery and generosity in this time.

Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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