Hangberg woman needs help with soup kitchen

Vivinia Wichman is seen here serving food at her soup kitchen in Hangberg last year. Pictures: Supplied.

A Hangberg woman is appealing to the public to donate to her soup kitchen so that she can continue feeding the hungry children.

Pensioner Vivinia Wichman, 70, said she had been running the soup kitchen for more than five years but was now struggling to meet the growing demand.

“I started this venture in 2018 while cleaning my kitchen one Monday morning while these five boys were playing soccer in the courtyard outside.

“I had some leftovers from last night and called one of the boys and asked if he wanted some food. When I looked again, all five of them were eating from the plastic container I gave the one boy. I then said to myself, I can’t turn a blind eye to this, there is a great need in our community.”

Later that year, Ms Wichman started buying supplies with her pension money and with help from family and friends, and she started serving the needy in Salamander Road.

“It takes me about three hours to prepare the food. My neighbour, Christine Maarman, also helps to peel the vegetables. I cook stews or bredies with rice on Tuesdays and Thursday around 3pm as the school kids are coming home.

“On average, I cook for about 400 people. In one hour, 200 foam containers with food are gone, and there are still more people waiting in line. As we are mostly fisher folk, things are tough here, especially when there’s no fish to catch, and now the numbers asking for food are growing.“

She is looking for donations of beans, lentils, pasta, spices and foam containers.

“Every week, the number grows it has been challenging to keep up with the demand. It would help if more soup kitchens can open their doors. I do get rare donations once every few months like a gas stove from the DA last year, but consistent donations will be greatly appreciated.”

Fellow Hangberg resident Freda Warner said Ms Wichman was a beacon of hope for the community.

“She’s very dedicated to feeding the hungry children and poor people here in the harbour. Even though she struggles sometimes financially she somehow finds a way to continue running her soup kitchen. I also try to help sometimes with the soup kitchen,” Ms Warner said.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas also vouched for Ms Wichman.

“She does amazing work for the community. Last year, I donated a large gas burner via our DA Hout Bay branch and R1500 of groceries towards her soup kitchen. We only invest in community operations that we know are trustworthy and serve the community with passion,” he said.

For more information contact Vivinia Wichman at 076 813 2984.

Vivinia Wichman says her soup kitchen, which runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, caters for about 400 people.