Chef Charné Sampson from Epice in Franschhoek and Food Lover’s Market Brackenfell cook for a good cause when Feed Mzansi arrives in Delft (Cape Town), joining forces with Feeding with Passion, to help alleviate the burden of hunger among the vulnerable children in the community.
Full bellies make happy hearts and children need a balanced diet to get the nutrients their growing bodies need to develop, learn, and play with friends.
Over the course of four weeks, we’ve challenged popular chefs and foodies to partner with Food Lover’s Market stores across the country, and cook nutritious, hearty meals for children in need of some extra love and special attention – one month in, and we still have more than enough vroom left in the tank.
From Cape Town to Johannesburg and Durban, don’t get left behind, follow along on our road trip with a difference here.
Who says that nutritious meals have to be boring? This week, Chef Charné Sampson prepares a well-balanced meal packed not only with health benefits but stacks of flavour too.
With a wide selection of fresh fruits, veggies and high-fibre whole grains, Chef Charné heads to Food Lover’s Market Brackenfell, stocking up on ingredients for a flavourful korma chicken curry. “I chose to do [my curry dish] because there is some protein, there’s veg, [and] there’s starch in there as well. And it’s also a nice way to incorporate so many different nutrients for little kids, with a little bit of flavour and spice added,” says Chef Charné.
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After ticking off her shopping list at Food Lover’s Market Brackenfell, Chef Charné heads to Delft, where she meets with the founder of Feeding with Passion, Marlene Lambert. An NPC, Feeding with Passion was founded during the national lockdown in 2020. While working from home, Marlene was troubled by the number of hungry children who came knocking at her door, asking for food.
Marlene works as a creditors clerk at Food Lover's Market Holdings, based in Brackenfell, and the team at Food Lover's Market are so proud of what she has achieved and built.
She says: “We all have dignity; we all have skins on our faces and we cannot help for our upbringing. And most of these kids can’t help for the situations and the circumstances that they are finding themselves in.”
South Africa has long had some of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world, but those numbers have been steadily on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic, with many households running out of money for food.
Hours ahead of the scheduled feeding time, a group of children start gathering along the vibracrete wall, curious about what Chef Charné will be preparing in the big pots inside “Aunty Marlene’s” home. It’s clear that Feeding with Passion goes beyond duty, as Marlene knows every child by name, taking an honest interest in their home life, hobbies, schooling, and future goals.
As someone who experienced hunger as a child, Marlene has made it her mission to stop children from going to bed hungry, and what started as a humble passion project which fed 10 children has grown to an NPC which now provides over 200 meals a week.
Today, over a hundred children fill Marlene’s home, walking away with full tummies and smiles on their faces. As Chef Charné looks back on the day and the 144 smiling faces, she notes how one small act of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of many.
Remember to watch the video until the end, and hit the heart icon below, to stand to WIN a Food Lover’s Market voucher to the value of R2 000. At the end of the video series, the chef with the most votes will receive R25 000 to donate to their featured child and youth care centre.
Watch Chef Charné's Food Journey again and vote: