It started with a joke on Twitter, and ended with donations of enough food to keep 2 000 kids nutritiously fed for a good while.
The children involved with the Lavender Hill Sports and Recreation Foundation in the Cape Flats received nearly 1.3 tonnes of food from Sea Harvest and McCain earlier this month.
According to Jared Patel, head of marketing at Sea Harvest, this was a coincidental Twitter interaction that led to a good deed and a happy ending.
These are the tweets that set the ball rolling.
“CapeTalk presenter Lester Kiewit was replying to Simon Orgill’s tweet suggesting that people propose (for marriage) at a local fish shop on Valentine’s Day,” says Patel.
“We were impressed, and we responded with, ‘I do,’ and ‘I am hooked on you.’”
Kiewit then challenged Sea Harvest to donate some of their products to the Lavender Hill Football Club, a registered non-profit organisation that has been feeding kids during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sea Harvest proceeded by sending Kiewit a direct message on Twitter, asking him to give them the details of the foundation.
“We were running a collaborative campaign with McCain Foods called ‘Friends in your freezer’ which started in mid-January. The campaign was to get more awareness for frozen food and the convenience of frozen food. Since we were already in a campaign with McCain, we decided to let them hop on to the challenge,” he says.
Together, the companies donated around 650kg of fish and 500kg of chips to the foundation on 5 February 2021.
Kiewit thanked them for the donation by sending out a tweet that reads, “McCain, thank you veggy veggy much. Sea Harvest you got us hook, line and sinker. Till nets time!”
Mark Nicholson the managing director of the Lavender Hill Sports and Recreation Foundation went on to share a similar post on Facebook with pictures of the food and children. He thanked the companies for feeding nearly 2 000 kids.
In an interview with Food For Mzansi, Nicholson said the contribution made by Sea Harvest and McCain has brought joy to the children’s hearts.
“We have been feeding 300 kids per day and let’s say about 2 500 a week. I have always asked around for donations on Facebook. Mr Kiewit was actually the one who saw my post.”
Kiewit had invited Nicholson onto CapeTalk to chat about the work of the foundation. Nicholson was put in contact with Patel, who offered to donate some fish cakes, fish fingers and some fried chips.
“It was exciting because currently our kids have not eaten something as nice as that,” says Nicholson. “It only happened about a year ago when Covid-19 started, and we had someone come drop snoek here. It was actually amazing. We could make some rice and fish cakes and some of the fish fingers, as well as some hot chips.”
Nicholson indicates that the foundation initially started with 78 children per day, but the number has since grown significantly. “It just shows you that these kids have been missing something nice to eat,” he says.
The foundation also offers a sports programme in the form of a soccer club, netball club, girls long-boarding skate club and dance academy. Some of the children have managed to be recognised by the Cape Town Carnival for dance and others by well know football clubs.
“Our initiative is for the community by the community. We aim to prevent young children from falling into gangsterism and gang activities which are so rife here on the Cape Flats,” says Nicholson.