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Over 10 days, more than 200 international chefs will cook for, feed and entertain hungry South African children, while raising funds to fight starvation.
THEY may not have the ability to feed a multitude of people with five loaves and two fish, but chefs around the world have united to fight hunger in South Africa.

Graham Wood enjoys a moment with one of the childrenChef Billy Gallagher enjoys a moment with one of the childrenOver 200 chefs from different countries will cook, feed and entertain hungry children through a 10-day tour programme called Bidvest World Chefs Tour against Hunger. The chefs will also work to raise funds for charities and feeding schemes. The event starts on 21 August. 
The tour, organised by the South African Chefs Association and the World Association of Chefs Societies, hopes to raise R5-million, which will be distributed in the form of monthly food donations to the Akani Diepsloot Foundation and the African Children’s Feeding Scheme.

Other charities from Durban, Cape Town, Nelspruit and East London will be identified at a later stage. Participants include businessman chef, Billy Gallagher, who has been working in South Africa since 1973, and Austrian-born Martin Kobald.

During their tour the chefs will host corporate gala dinners, food festivals and demonstration kitchens where they will prepare traditional meals from their home countries for the public to sample.

Other fund raising efforts are the re-recording of the song Sing Children Sing, a 2003 song by South African pop singer, PJ Powers . The song and the video will then be available as a mobile phone download for R10.

BidFood, a food company of Bidvest, will sell chef’s hats to companies. Companies who buy 2 000 or more hats will have their logo printed on the hats alongside other sponsors. BidFood is expecting to sell 50 000 hats to raise R400 000.

“What do you do for starters when you confront boundless tragedy like hunger and the growing number of starving children?” the executive director of Bidvest, Brian Joffe asked at the official launch of the Bidvest World Chefs Tour against Hunger at Punchinello’s Southern Sun Hotel at Montecasino on 24 May.

“The problem is too big to be swept away in one dramatic initiative, but you can chip away at it.

“You can raise awareness, raise some money, too, and ensure the eradication of hunger remains a national and international priority. Bidvest and our partners at the 2011 Bidvest World Chefs Tour against Hunger can’t solve world hunger, but we can chip away at it and that is what we’re doing,” he said.

Singing Singing for joyBidvest donated R3,6-million to the initiative, while the Southern Sun will provide accommodation during the tour. 
“As one of Africa’s leading hotel groups, Southern Sun strives to remain a leader in sustainable tourism,” said the managing director of Southern Sun Hotels, Graham Wood. “This association with the Bidvest World Chefs Tour further enhances our commitment to making a visible change in South Africa. The initiative matches our objective of working to make a difference in the lives of South Africans in need.”

Akani Diepsloot Foundation provides preschool and crèche facilities for children who are not yet of school-going age. It also operates as an after-school home for 750 children whose parents work.

The children receive help with their homework, English literacy skills and library access. They also have extramural activities like acting, choir singing, dance classes and fitness programmes.

The African Children’s Feeding Scheme, based in Brixton, feeds 21 000 underprivileged children each day. The organisation also screens them for malnutrition and other health problems.

Food parcels and coupons are issued to families and weekly meetings are held for parents and grandparents to learn about nutrition, health, food gardening and other aspects of healthy living.

These charities will benefit from the Bidvest World Chefs Tour against Hunger for the next five years. For more information about how to get involved in the tour and how to donate, call Vanessa Naudé on 011 672 2037 or send an email to

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