Since the popular and buzzing Bellevue Café in Kloof has been repurposed in late April to cook much-needed meals, which will be distributed to the needy for the duration of the lockdown by NPO Zero2Five Trust, the project has grown from strength to strength.
On 6 days every week, at least 500 kgs of chicken stew are cooked in several steaming pots in the restaurant’s kitchen, decanted into 5 litre sealed buckets and taken into marginalized communities all over KZN. Rolling out an average of 100 buckets containing 800 meals per day with 1 kg rice on the side, Bellevue Café had yet to purchase a single ingredient. Generous donations by the Willowton Group, RCL Foods, Unilever, The Juice Kitchen, Oxford Food Market, Regal Meats, and many individuals who stream in on a daily basis do drop off vegetables in all shapes and colours have made this project a huge success.
To date a massive 8 tons of cooked meals have been distributed.
Zero2Five Trust also received a enormous 1421 food relief parcels from the eNCA/ HCI Foundation national campaign, leaving many needy families equipped with a Bellevue stew bucket and a box of food to last a family of 4 for another 4 weeks.
The delicious stews have been delivered to rural areas as far as Zululand up the north and Loskop in the Drakensberg Escarpment.
“Once again the Upper Highway community has stepped up and embraced this project. We have had streams of regular guests and friend’s delivering fresh vegetables, spices and grains and we are yet to need to buy raw materials. Financial donations have continued to pour in with one of our neighbours and friends donating a whopping R60 000-00 to the project. Our waitering team has really enjoyed the project and whilst the earnings are needed and appreciated, they all say that they love making a difference, says Guy Cluver, owner, and founder of Bellevue Café.
“Philip Chitsamba, a long standing waiter put this on our WhatsApp group last week which really resonated with us all : “I pray one day to be sitting in a cool place with my grandkids telling them that I was part of the team, Bellevue Café making history,” continued Cluver.
Julika Falconer, CEO of Zero2Five Trust adds, “We are totally overwhelmed by the support of the big food donors and our Upper Highway community. The monetary donations will allow us to continue cooking and delivering these highly nutritious chicken stews for another few weeks and – together with the many other dry food donations we are adding – we help many struggling families survive this crisis. With much uncertainty on when the lockdown will be lifted, ongoing projects like this not only supply much needed nutrition but also give the communities an unmeasurable sense of community and hope. With a further extension of the level 4 restrictions until the end of May, South Africa is expecting and fearing a hunger crisis of historical scale.”
We are delighted that the Conscious Café in Hillcrest has also opened their kitchen to assist with preparing meals.
The public can support the cause by donating vegetables to Bellevue Café, Kloof or by donating in cash using Zapper or the banking details listed on the www.zero2five.org website.
Zero2Five Meals are being supplied to 800 families every week – to date 5600 meals have been delivered to homes in around eThekwini and as far as Chatsworth, Asheville, Table Mountain, Howick, Eshowe, Zululand, KwaNyuswa, Embo, Molweni, Dassenhoek, Chatsworth, Table Mountain, Winterton, Loskop, Estcourt, Mpophomeni, Howick,
The initiative will run while Zero2Five have produce and funding, probably until mid-June 2020.
Bellevue Café will continue to supply 500 kgs of chicken stew each day every week.
Additional detail on benefactors:
Gastrek have lent two gas boiling tables which have allowed increased production.
Fresh ID delivered 2 weeks’ worth of chemicals and cleaning products at no charge.
Bar and Restaurant Supplies in Hillcrest donated 4 x 50 litre pots.
Walter Fry supplyed us with spices and stocks to enrich the stews.
Tracey and Paul Chisolm donated 500 kg of chocolate chip cookies that are proving a real treat.
Photo credit: Rogan Ward.
Rogan Ward accompanied Julika Falconer to deliver meals to families. A selection of photos is available – the names of people featured, and areas are on the photos.
All people photographed have given permission for their photograph to be used.
For more information
Julika Falconer of Zero2Five on 082 533 3132
Shirley Williams on 083 303 1663 or Shirley@shirleywilliams.co.za if you would like more images.