Largest food can mosaic created at CTICC for Madiba

Hundreds of volunteers joined food relief NGO Ladles of Love to build the world’s largest food can mosaic of Madiba’s face at the CTICC on Monday 18 July.PHOTO: Werner Ryke

Hundreds of volunteers joined food relief NGO Ladles of Love to build the world’s largest food can mosaic of Madiba’s face at the CTICC on Monday 18 July.PHOTO: Werner Ryke
It’s not every day that hundreds of people join hands to create a massive mosaic made entirely out of food cans.

But food relief organisation Ladles of Love together with hundreds of volunteers spent their 67 minutes for Mandela Day creating this and smashing the world record in the process.

On Monday 18 July, the organisation, enthusiastic volunteers and corporates flocked to the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) to create a mosaic of former late president Nelson Mandela using more than 56 000 cans.

At the same time a mosaic of the South African flag was put together at Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg.

The current largest canned food mosaic is 52,39 m², and was created using about 6 853 food cans. It was achieved by DoorDash in the United States of America (USA) on 1 March 2019.

The more than 56 000 cans used in Cape Town and the more than 32 000 cans used in Johannesburg will now be donated to the beneficiaries which the organisation supplies.

Leading up to the event people were asked to donate cans or money in aid of the day.

Danny Diliberto, founder of Ladles of Love, says: “We decided to build the biggest mosaic in the world made from food cans and our goal was to build a 500 m² mosaic of Madiba with the South African flag behind him and we also decided to do it in Johannesburg where we built a 300 m² mosaic of the South African flag. We managed to achieve both goals.”

He explains that they used 56 685 cans in Cape Town and 32 040 in Johannesburg. “It was an awesome day between the two cities; we had about 1 500 volunteers who helped us and the spirit of ubuntu in both cities was incredible. We placed around 90 000 food cans on the mosaics across the two cities and we’ve raised so much in terms of actual food and support to carry on with our mission to feed as many people as we can for as long as we can.”

He explains that on the day 1,3 tonnes of vegetables were chopped and donated in Johannesburg, and 2,5 tons chopped and donated in Cape Town. Altogether 7 000 sandwiches were made in Johannesburg and 24 000 made on site in Cape Town.

A total of 55 000 sandwiches were made.

Diliberto says: “The cans have all been packed up and returned to our warehouse in Epping here in Cape Town and we have a smaller warehouse in Johannesburg and from there we are going to distribute them weekly to our soup kitchens that we support so that they can use it to cook food for their communities. It will probably take about a month to get all the cans out.”

He says their goal is to make sure those in need are fed. He says as an organisation they provide about 250 000 meals per week.

“The cans can feed those facing food insecurity, with the tins of food, fresh nutritious meals made on the day and with the money raised. While this was a huge undertaking, the organisation works tirelessly and all year long, supplying a million nourishing meals a month to communities in need.”

Diliberto extended his gratitude to all the people and businesses that stepped up to smash not one, but two world records.

“We had sponsors like Rhodes Quality foods, Spar and Oceana with Lucky Star. They came in and sponsored most of the cans. And we had Coronation Fund managers that sponsored the event. We are thankful to everyone who was involved,” concludes Diliberto.

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