Jasmina feeds the needy in her community

Elma Van Wyk, 32, and Jasmina Fredericks, 61, cook for the needy in Brooklyn every Wednesday.

More than 70 people make their way to a Brooklyn house once a week, where Jasmina Fredericks, 64, feeds them from her front gate.

She dishes up the food from large pots over gas burners in her garage, at 17 Curlew Street, every Wednesday, from 11am.

She says she started the kitchen in 2019 after registering her non-profit organisation, Helping Hands.

On Wednesday September 13, Ms Fredericks cooked dhal curry, a traditional Indian lentil dish, with bread on the side.

She knows everyone by name, and calls them to collect their bowls and bags of food while they thank her.

“I love cooking, and I enjoy helping other people, so having a soup kitchen just makes sense to me.”

She says she also visits the old-age homes in the area to hand out food to the elderly who cannot walk to her house.

Elma van Wyk, 32, who helps her, says the soup kitchen doesn’t always run as it should due to a lack of supplies, but “they make a plan”.

Ms Fredericks’s eyes brim with tears as she looks at Ms Van Wyk and says, “This woman is remarkable; without her, I would be lost.”

She adds: “There were times when we never had some ingredients, but we threw together our thoughts and improvised, and the food came out amazing. So I would like to say, we are blessed.”

She says she gets some sponsorship from various charities, but she uses her pension and money from her son to buy most of the ingredients.

No one will be turned away from her soup kitchen, she says.

“People are coming from as far as Kensington, Maitland, and Milnerton.”

Ms Fredericks has a list of those she feeds weekly. It records the number of people in their households so she knows how much food to serve up.

Ms Fredericks says she is most in need of dry ingredients and vegetables. Call her at 079 928 3363 if you want to help.

Ms Fredericks collects bowls and bags from those who queue for their food.
Ms Van Wyk stirs a pot of lentil curry.