Parkside resident Rachel Gloria Clayton has run a soup kitchen for the past 12 years, and despite challenges along the way, is determined to continue.
With the assistance of Meals on Wheels, Clayton provides soup and bread for the underprivileged and homeless in Parkside, and at times, for people in Egoli and Vergenoeg.
“My late sister was running the initiative and I was always helping.
“I took over 12 years ago and I have been providing meals for people in Parkside ever since.
“It is such a joy to be able to help,” Clayton said.
“Meals on Wheels have been so helpful by providing soup packets, but sometimes I can’t afford to buy bread.”
With the assistance of three to four people, she provides meals every two weeks.
One of her biggest challenges is that there is often not enough food to feed everyone.
“Because we don’t have many resources, we sometimes run out of food before we can help everyone.
“It breaks my heart when the food isn’t enough to feed everyone who comes to us.
“I come to them with a solution, but when I don’t have bread, they ask me and I don’t know what to say,” she said.
“We have to ask for donations for bread, some food parcels and some old clothes for the children.” East London Meals on Wheels manager, Jeni Campbell, said the organisation had assisted Clayton with soup packets since June 2022.
Meals on Wheels is open to assisting anyone who is interested in starting a soup kitchen.
“If anyone needs help with their soup kitchen they can just send me an email providing information about the circumstances of the area, the location and how many people will be fed.
“We will be happy to help,” said Campbell.
Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org