News Article

KSA members rally to revamp the U-turn homless soup kitchen in Calaremont

14th April 2014

KSA members rally to revamp the U-turn homless soup kitchen in Calaremont

Members of the Kitchen Specialists Association rallied to answer a call for help from U-turn Homeless Ministries ( to give their soup kitchen in Claremont, round the corner from Stadium on Main, a new lease of life.

When Stephanie Forbes, national coordinator of the Kitchen Specialists Association (KSA), received the request for help from U-turn she put word out amongst the membership. ‘I was amazed at the speed the responses came in’ says Forbes.

Work commenced late in 2013 and was completed in April 2014. The space was transformed from a desolate heartless environment into a warm and functional one. Volunteers now have a proper kitchen space designed to be adaptable with the units on wheels so they can be relocated if necessary. Proper washing and cooking facilities are now in place meaning food can be safely and hygienically prepared and served.

‘We are extremely grateful for the wonderful support and assistance shown by the members of the KSA.’ says Sam Vos, director of U-turn. ‘You can imagine the ongoing difficulty it caused for us to have freezers located at one site, and having a stove and kitchen at another site that is 2 kilometres away. We harboured the dream of having a kitchen situated in the same space as the freezers and serving space. The sad fact was that we knew that our finances could not support the installation of a new kitchen! We approached the KSA with a simple request to see if they could help us replace our dilapidated cooker – we ended up with our dream kitchen!’

Responses to the call came from a variety of KSA members. Spotlight Kitchens, based in Lansdowne, offered to coordinate the job and build the units. Materials were donated by Lansdowne Boards. Caesarstone and Granite Projects together ensured the units had hygienic and durable engineered stone tops. Roco Fittings provided all the fixtures and fittings while Franke donated a wash trough and sink mixer. The dilapidated stove was replaced by a beautiful new Smeg cooker and Rulan Projects in Plettenberg bay donated a dishwasher so that the hard working volunteers didn’t have to do all the washing up.

‘Companies choose to be part of the KSA’. says Forbes. It is a reflection of a company’s character when they choose to be held accountable by a third party and work to a code of ethics. We are all so pleased at the impact this small gesture will make.’

Says Vos, ‘It has completely changed our daily experience of cooking and serving the homeless. We can now spend so much more time serving those that turn to us for help! Having a lively kitchen with everything in one place means there is atmosphere and improved security for our staff and visitors. We are extremely grateful to all the KSA members who played a part in this transformation and generously assisted us to turn this dream into a reality. Thank you very, very much.’