In our August update (available here) I wrote: "It’s not easy to communicate just how hungry many people are now, and it’s not just our old faithfuls, we’re seeing many new people coming for soup and asking for food".

Last night at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen I think we might just have found a way to communicate the levels of hunger...

Once a month here in SA, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) pays out pensions and disability grants to those that qualify for such assistance. However, don't think for a moment this compares to the UK equivalent of social security, it really doesn't! The disability grant is currently R1860 per month, that's about £90 and is strictly means tested.

Normally, in the week of SASSA payments we scale our Soup Kitchen back because the numbers of people coming for soup drop quite dramatically. However, yesterday we once again served 100 litres of fresh homemade soup and despite it being a SASSA week all 100lts were gone in 40 minutes.

That is a first for The Gathering's Soup Kitchen and whilst it felt good to be able to be generous to our regulars, it left us all in a sense of shock, realizing that had this been a regular week the 100lts wouldn't have been enough.

That's how hungry people are, despite receiving their pensions and social grants they still struggle to put food on the table.

The growth of the Soup Kitchen is a real bitter-sweet thing.


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