We are all human. We all have a story. Together we are the change.
After matriculating from Herzlia in 2001, Kerry completed a Damelin course in PC support and a Varsity College course in web design. Her local work experience included arranging hikes at Escape (a start up business partnered with Cape Union Mart), IT support at Cape Union Mart and marketing cheese for La Mont Dairy. Kerry then spent two years in New Zealand working with mentally and physically challenged people and helping them integrate into the community. Back in SA, her passion for food was enhanced by working at The Kitchen Deli in Woodstock and in 2010 she started her own company, Food Fantasy, selling a range of snack products to retailers, pubs and bars. When the business grew, it seemed natural to merge it with CNC Products, the wholesale food family business her grandfather started as a hobby. Kerry now works with her mom, Charlene, who runs CNC Products, carrying on the legacy of her late grandfather. This legacy of love and tzedakkah is what prompted Kerry to start Souper Troopers in 2014 with a pot of soup and a realisation that Cape Town communities can create meaningful change through small acts of kindness. One day of serving soup and sandwiches from an urban pavement to homeless individuals led to a vision that gestures like these could bring about positive change in an increasingly negative space. Instead of aiming to ‘solve the problem,’ Souper Troopers provides specific events and services that bring homeless people some dignity and attention and give us all an opportunity to socialise in a environment of mutual respect. Significantly, these events are frequently run together with people on the street. Some help in the kitchen, others give haircuts, and most of the people attending always help with keeping an eye out, making sure everything runs smoothly. Souper Troopers is a platform for human beings to join together and assist in any way possible to make the changes we wish to see in our world from a very authentic space, believing in the philosophy of 'doing' not just talking. We are all human. We all have a story. Together we are the change.
AREAS WE WORK IN:
Souper Troopers started with a pot of soup and a realisation that even a small number of individuals can create meaningful change through small acts of kindness from the heart. Founder Kerry Hoffman was inspired to connect with the most marginalised people in Cape Town - those living on the streets. Three years ago Kerry began simply, serving hot soup and sandwiches out of the boot of her car. Today Souper Troopers has grown a dedicated community of regular volunteers and serves around 600 people at their monthly ‘soup and social’ events. Souper Troopers is now a registered non-profit organisation and significantly impacts both the ‘homeless’ and the ‘homefull’ of Cape Town. The monthly ‘socials’ that are a platform for allowing homeless individuals a space to have some fun and feel ‘human.’ Significantly, these events are frequently run together with people on the street. Some help in the kitchen, others give haircuts, and most of the people attending always help with keeping an eye out, making sure everything runs smoothly. Through collaboration with volunteers, homeless individuals, and corporates, the monthly socials have included: Haircuts and a wholesome meal; pop-up boutique clothing spaces that allow homeless individuals to ‘shop’ in a dignified manner; mobile showers; the donation of toiletries; games and other entertainment; and the opportunity to celebrate birthdays To quote one of the homeless , George, "we just want people to acknowledge that we are also people"