On Thursday 30 April we launched our first Music for Meals Sessions and to date have featured the likes of Ard Matthew, Mike Rutherford, and Arno Cartens.

These artists, along with many more are assisting us with a project which is very close to our hearts –  providing meals to the community of Khayelitsha from the kitchens of Ellerman House and Fyn Restaurant. Enjoy a weekly music and food session listening to our incredible artists and learn a new cooking skill with Peter Templelhoff.  Follow us on Facebook & Instagram for updates and the live stream.

During this Covid 19 pandemic, South Africa, like other countries across the world, is grappling with the exceptionally tough balancing act of trying to keep our citizens safe and healthy, whilst also keeping our economy alive. Currently, the issue of hunger is a massive concern. Aside from the threat of contracting Corona virus, hunger is the greatest threat to millions of South Africans. The Human Sciences Research Council has found that during this lock down, between 45% and 65% of people are battling to pay bills and feed their families.

Hearing about hungry people on TV was one thing, but to actually see the reality of the situation in the townships hit home hard. The particular community which we are supporting is in Khayelitsha, which is the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Here the medium average income per family is a meagre $1060 a year.

I had the opportunity of witnessing first hand, food being delivered to hungry school children in Khayelitsha, and the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the palpable sense of love, community and hope that exists there despite endemic poverty. Certain community members had taken it upon themselves to co-ordinate the provision of meals to the most vulnerable.  While hungry kids waited patiently with their little lunch boxes, a group of elderly women had been tasked to serve them food, ensuring that the process was as hygienic as possible, and that good social distancing was being maintained. One needs to bear in mind that social distancing is non-existent to township living. Because many people share tightly crammed accommodation, self-isolation and working from home are not options for them. Access to masks and sanitizer is extremely limited.

I was struck by the way one community member, Thando Wellington, had made his own small home available so that volunteers could wash their hands, wash the utensils, and distribute the food. There are numerous other unsung heroes.

In response to this desperate need we are grateful to our owner, Paul Harris for his financial support in getting this project underway. And our Chefs Peter Tempelhoff, Rudi Blaauw and their team have literally stepped up to the plate, and are preparing healthy, nutritious meals on a daily basis. They will continue to do so for as long as is possible, and have encouraged other chefs, restaurants and hotels to do likewise. It is heart-warming that our neighbours have also entered into the spirit of giving, sending us ingredients through certified suppliers. Should you too like to make a donation, either in the form of ingredients or else as a financial contribution, you have our assurance that all such donations are strictly audited through the Click Disaster Relief Programme. Should your choice be of a financial nature, please would you scan the QR code below or email me on paulbb@ellerman.co.za

Paul Bruce Brand