Ladles of Love began when Danny Diliberto was inspired to create a project to give back to society, as the result of attending a course through the Art of Living foundation (AOL).
As part of the course, attendees were encouraged to head out into the streets of Cape Town to offer hot tea to homeless people. As a restaurateur, Danny decided instead to make use of his kitchen and cooked up a fresh pot of soup instead.
Walking the streets of Cape Town on his mission, he spotted a homeless individual walking along – the man was wrapped in a dirty duvet and was shouting and swearing as he went.
Danny approached him to offer the soup, and in that instant he saw that such a simple gesture had great power. The man stopped his shouting, accepted the soup and thanked Danny before continuing on his way.
In this moment Danny realised that he had the power to restore dignity, even for just a moment, to people who have lost their way – and so the soup kitchen was born.
With little knowledge of how to start a soup kitchen, he decided just to go for it and at the first soup kitchen on a chilly July evening in 2014 a small team of volunteers served 70 hot meals. That same kitchen now happens every single week, serving over 200 meals each time.
Think volunteering might be for you? Want to find out more? Click here to find out how our soup kitchens work and how you can become a part of the Ladles of Love family.
Founder and trustee, Danny Diliberto, was born in Zimbabwe. He moved to South Africa as a teenager where he discovered his lifelong passion for food. Born into an Italian family, food was a huge part of his early years – and so cooking, feeding and making people feel welcome all came naturally to Danny and led him into a career in food. As a restaurateur and manager of a Doppio Zero restaurant, feeding homeless people seemed like a logical starting point to Danny. He was determined to create a new kind of soup kitchen—powered by love and offering comfort to fellow humans who have temporarily lost their way. When he’s not in the restaurant or running a soup kitchen, you’ll find him trail running or climbing on his beloved mountain.
Originally from the UK, Kate Haywood joined the team in 2016 after discovering Ladles of Love by chance when passing them serving on St George’s Mall. Serving at the kitchen was an eye-opening experience for Kate and she developed a real interest in the issue of homelessness. As a newcomer to Cape Town, it also offered her a way to connect with new and interesting people from all walks of life.
She was honoured to be asked to come on board as Trustee and is excited to be a part of the future of Ladles and its mission to feed more people and touch more lives.
We refer to our work as Seva, which is a beautiful Sanskrit word that refers to the art of selfless service. And when you give of yourself wanting nothing in return, you become a Seva Warrior.
Our soup kitchens are powered by love – the love of our warriors. Some come for just one kitchen and others return each week. Some volunteer their skills or time in other ways – such as Alex (aka Limpy) who helps with marketing, GEM co-ordinator Charmaine, fundraisers Margolite and Didem, Munch Clubber Lynnie, dependable and reliable Jay, head nerd Sam, sandwich makers Sam and Hilary and many many others who have helped over the years with transport, videos, photography and more.
We’ve quickly become one of the most well-known volunteer organisations in Cape Town and we encourage anyone and everyone to volunteer with us at least once in their lifetime. Although volunteering is an incredibly humbling and eye-opening experience it’s also one full of love, joy and silliness. It fills your heart and feeds your soul.
“It started with one thought, one pot, one person and now it’s a HUGE movement. I just want to THANK YOU for LADLES OF LOVE and all the special people it’s brought into my life! Because of you we are able to do SEVA and connect in ways that brings such joy and purpose and I’m so grateful for you!” – Michelle, Volunteer
For each of our soup kitchens, the awesome kitchen crew from Doppio Zero, St Georges Mall prepare the food for us. Our crew includes Abu, who we met through our soup kitchens for the homeless. Abu does regular shifts with us to cut and prepare the veggies – he also oversees the prep when volunteers join us.
We do welcome volunteers who would like to assist with veg prep. Some, like Marie, even stay a while and really become a major part of the team. Please contact us in advance to book your shift in the kitchen – these shifts are by prior arrangement only.
We welcome you to join the team. If you’d like to become a volunteer, check out our timetable and come along when you can.Check our Timetable
As a writer, photographer, designer or blogger you may be able to see another path to help our projects. Contact us today to volunteer your skill.Contact Us