Dozens of mothers and children braved a cold Saturday morning in order to receive a meal at the Norman Goosen Soup Kitchen in Parkside in the Buffalo Flats.
The soup kitchen has been ongoing for many years with Norman’s granddaughter, Donae Goosen-Carelse, taking over the kitchen in 2014 after her grandfather passed away. She now runs it with the help of her best friend, Rachmat Fiven.
“I’m very glad that PNA Stationers and Premier Hotel have come on board. I used to fundraise on my own. I used my own food until it ran out and I really cried when I had no money to buy more,” Goosen-Carelse said.
Page Group Director and owner of PNA, Gussie Eberhardt, said that although they do this every Saturday, it’s extra special because it’s Youth Day.
“All our staff is here so it’s all hands on deck. The left over food will go to the adults because the kids are our main priority today. I’d like to see this go bigger and give back to the community,” she said
Premier Hotel Food and Beverage Manager, Bruce McKay, said that they came on board in April last year, providing the meals and donated linen in this Youth Day initiative.
“We started off with about the 30 children and that has grown exponentially. We have to give back to the community and we make sure that we include a lot of vegetables in the meal,” McKay said.
First time recipient of the soup kitchen initiative, Babalwa Mayeki says that she didn’t know something like this existed.
“It’s my first time here and I’m happy there’s this initiative. There are others who couldn’t be here.
“ We rely on social grants but it’s not enough so this is a good thing,” Mayeki said.