Lulama Maseti, 34, is a mother of two from Extension 8 who runs her Masibambisane Soup Kitchen from home. She is unemployed and lives with her two kids and mom. She said they depend on her mother’s pension and Child Support grants to buy food. But a slice of that money goes to groceries for the soup kitchen.
“I started this soup kitchen after noticing how many breadwinners in my community had lost their jobs when the Covid-19 lockdown started last year. I had no money, but I thought that starting this would help a lot of people. A result of that is the scores of people coming here to get a plate of food during the days I cook. I cook twice a week because I don’t have the funds to cook every day,” Maseti said.
Her plan for Heritage Day next Friday is to cook traditional Xhosa lunch for the people. She said she would welcome with both hands donations from Good Samaritans to help make the day a success. “I welcome anything that a person might have.”
“Most people who come here are old, and some don’t have families. Others are kids from low-income families. If I had the means, I would be cooking for them every day. It is sad to see older people coming in numbers to get a plate of food. You think inside, where are they going to get it tomorrow or later in the evening,” she said.
Another soup kitchen owner who works from her home in Currie Street is Diane Oosthuizen. She prioritises children but dishes up for elders, too.
On Monday, 13 September, she received a grocery and meat donation from the OBC store. “God is good all the time. I want to say thank you so much to Dion Crafford, the manager, and his staff from OBC Butchery for their very generous donation towards the soup kitchen! May God bless your business in abundance. I am so grateful and don’t have words to describe how I feel,” Oosthuizen said.
About 160 people come to her soup kitchen on Tuesdays. She used to cook two days a week, but there were fewer sponsors and donations because times were getting tough for everyone.