Chefs with Compassion Announces the 2024 #67000litres for Mandela Day Campaign

Chef Coo Pillay with HTA School of Culinary Art students announcing the final number of litres of soup cooked for Mandela Day 2023

Chefs with Compassion, South Africa's leading culinary initiative dedicated to fighting hunger, proudly announces the launch of its fifth annual #67000litres for Mandela Day campaign. This year's initiative marks a significant milestone as it coincides with the fifth anniversary of the campaign's inception, born shortly after the onset of lockdown in South Africa. 


The #67000litres for Mandela Day campaign invites chefs, cooks, corporates, and individuals alike to join forces in a collective effort to cook 67,000 litres of soup on Mandela Day, 18th July 2024. This initiative not only honours the legacy of Nelson Mandela but also addresses the pressing issue of food insecurity across the nation.

NOSH Food Rescue volunteers at HTA School of Culinary Art in Randburg

Building on the remarkable success of the 2023 campaign, which saw an overwhelming 104,360 litres of soup cooked by 114 dedicated participants, Chefs with Compassion aims to once again surpass expectations. Participants from diverse backgrounds – including chefs, community caterers, NGOs, and caring corporates – will unite to cook and distribute nutritious meals to those in need. 


"Chefs with Compassion is thrilled to embark on the fifth edition of the #67000litres Challenge," said Chef Coo Pillay, founding director of Chefs with Compassion. "This campaign symbolises the power of unity and compassion within South Africa's culinary community. Together, we can make a profound difference in the lives of thousands facing hunger." 

Soup served by Thembi T Foundation in Randburg


Over the past four years, the campaign has seen a tremendous outpouring of support, resulting in a total of 1,373,564 cups of soup served to those in need: 


- 2020: 309,820 cups 

- 2021: 283,588 cups 

- 2022: 362,716 cups 

- 2023: 417,440 cups 


As the fifth anniversary of this impactful campaign is commemorated, it is important to recognise the increasing hunger statistics over the last four years. According to recent reports, food insecurity has been on the rise, with more South Africans facing hunger due to economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Student cooking at the HTA School of Culinary Art

A special highlight of this year's campaign is the generous support from the poultry industry. Astral and Country Bird Holdings have each donated chicken worth R67,000. TopLay has joined the initiative for the first time, donating 67 dozen eggs in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. These contributions are vital for the community kitchens that collect rescued food weekly from Chefs with Compassion, cook nutritious meals, and feed hungry people. The poultry industry’s participation, along with the Joburg Fresh Produce Market’s donation of fresh vegetables, makes it possible for these kitchens to participate in the challenge. 


Melinda Shaw, editor of the SA Poultry Association magazine Poultry Bulletin, which drives the industry’s meat and egg donations, commented, “Poultry producers are the best! The industry has had one of the most difficult years in its history, with bird flu wiping out 10 million birds, on top of the costs incurred to handle dragging municipal service delivery problems and electricity challenges. And yet, when we asked them to help with the Mandela Day soup challenge again, they immediately agreed. We are proud to donate chicken meat to the value of multiples of 67 in honour of Madiba!” 

Chef Yejna Maharaj from SA Chefs cooking at the HTA School of Culinary Art

Individuals and corporates are encouraged to participate by registering on the Chefs with Compassion website. Corporates can support a kitchen with a donation of R25,000, receiving a Section 18A certificate and the opportunity for their team to cook alongside chefs for 67 minutes. Additionally, compassionate companies can 'Back A Kitchen' for R6.70 per litre, contributing directly to the production of nutritious soup for communities in need. 


The impact of the #67000litres Challenge extends far beyond Mandela Day, providing ongoing support to Chefs with Compassion's network of kitchen hubs across the country. These hubs rescue surplus food weekly and transform it into meals that nourish over 400,000 individuals annually. 


To join Chefs with Compassion in their mission to Rescue, Cook, and Feed, visit to register or make a donation. Together, every day can be a Mandela Day by combating food waste and hunger across South Africa. 

FBI Culinary Institute in Bloemfontein and SA Chefs Free State, which produced 1 600 litres for Towers of Hope


Notes from the Kitchen

We received large donations of vegetables and utensils from Chefs with Compassion which are helping us maintain our homeless soup kitchen that feeds over 200 people daily and vulnerable children in informal settlements in Berea.

Themba Mbatha-Chalumbira,
One Moment Foundation

After my restaurant business shut down at the start of lockdown, I saw people struggling. They couldn’t get food to eat. I chose to make a difference and I started a soup kitchen to feed people, with help from my staff and family – and Chefs with Compassion.

Thandi Dyantjie,

I used to have a catering business before Covid. Now I am involved with Chefs with Compassion in serving my community by cooking food and also sharing it with other organisations for their communities. I feed 1,500 people each week.

Busi Twala ,

We would like to thank the CWC team as they continuously provide rescued produce that has helped us feed hundreds of thousands of hungry people since the start of the lockdowns.

Dr Nishaan Kishore,
Infinity Foundation

Hope of the Hopeless Centre would not be open if it was not for CWC, which came and rescued us in the pandemic.

Margo Williams,
Hope of the Hopeless, Ennerdale

CWC gives Army of Yahweh the opportunity to help other soup kitchens for children and old age homes and vulnerable people in informal settlements in different areas.

Pastor Adrian Breda,
Army of Yahweh