Mother City Kitchen (MCK) supports non-profit organisations in specific impoverished community groups throughout Cape Town, by donating mass produced nutritious soup and other meals. MCK produce large amounts of soup, at a low cost per unit due to the economy of scale from large industrial cookers in their factory and due to collaborative efforts from sponsors. A large part of the process is delivery, which needs to be quick and efficient. For this, MCK uses a soup bowser which is an 1,000 litre stainless steel trailer tank. The proceeds of the 2023 Cableway Charity Challenge event are earmarked to purchase a second bowser which has become increasingly necessary as the MCK production increases as well as aiding in fast distribution in disaster situations.
After visiting a soup kitchen during the COVID lockdown of March 2020, Andre Viljoen, the owner of Woodstock Brewery, realised his large industrial cookers could be re-purposed to make soup. This was during alcohol sale restrictions.
Many keen volunteers contributed by chopping vegetables and distributing the soup to impoverished areas of Cape Town. The idea soon gained momentum with key corporate donors like Premier Brands (Blue Ribbon bread) and The Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Initiative.
Due to its ongoing success, Mother Soup eventually outgrew the brewery and handed over operations to the non-profit organisation GCU which has operated in schools and communities for 20 years. For more information of GCU, please visit www.gcu.org.za
In late 2021 factory space was acquired and developed, industrial cookers were installed and the initiative was named Mother City Kitchen. Launched in mid-2022, the aim is to continue making nutritious soup and other meals on a daily basis with the possibility of this efficient model being expanded and replicated throughout South Africa and beyond.