Lindiwe Mkhungo preparing the meal as her colleagues looks on

Beneficiaries of a community soup kitchen that caters for thousands in Mount Moriah, Glen Hills, Sunningdale, Mount Royal and Avoca, were full of smiles when it opened again last Friday after it was closed in August last year. The kitchen’s closure was a result of the unrest in the community after the elections.

Some residents were not happy where the ward 110 soup kitchen was located. There were reports of burglaries and vandalism to the containers that are used as a cooking station and storage facility.

For almost three years, the kitchen provided much-needed meals for the poor and sick. It is a council-funded initiative that feeds community members from impoverished backgrounds.

Speaking to Durban North News, project manager Vimbile Ngema, said that the kitchen’s closure brought much pain and suffering to so many beneficiaries who are dependent on it. “To some, this was the only meal they have and when it was closed people were really suffering,” she said.

When the newspaper visited the kitchen on Friday morning, the staff were busy preparing meals. “We officially started cooking today and from now on we want to let people know that we are open and are here to serve them,” said Ngema.

She said that they are hoping that they would no longer have any issues that would disrupt their operation as it benefits the community. The kitchen opens between 7am and 4pm five days a week.

One of the people who use the facility said that she was happy that things are back to normal. “I am depended on the meals they provide at the kitchen as I am unemployed and sick. It’s closure was a big blow for all of us,” she said.