Ladles of Love smashes sandwich-making world record

Marc Lottering, Brendan van Rhyn, Jenny Morris, Abigail Donnelly, Thabiso Makhubela and Siba Mtongana in The Kitchen Collective studio during the live stream of the event.

Over the last three-and-a-half months, Ladles of Love has extended its work into
making sandwiches. 

Within a couple of weeks of starting, the organisation was supplying communities with between 10 000 and 15 000 sandwiches a week. To cope with the influx of support, Ladles automated the sandwich drive system and introduced depots around the city to further its reach. Today, the organisation makes around 28 000 sandwiches a week from its hub at the Greek Club. Another hub will be opening at Grand West.

With Mandela Day approaching, Ladles aimed to break the world record for how many sandwiches could be made in an hour. Initially, it was believed that the record was set at about 57 000 sandwiches, so Ladles aimed to produce 100 000. However, with a week to go before the big day, it was discovered that the real record was 107 418 sandwiches. So, much like leavened bread, Ladles rose to the challenge by aiming for 125 000 sandwiches. 

All participants were required to register online and could either purchase a kit (consisting of five loaves of bread and jam tin) or source their own supplies. While it is difficult to track the number of sandwich makers, all 3500 of the available kits were sold. Volunteers also had to sign affidavits attesting to the fact that sandwiches were made during 10:00 and 11:00 on Mandela Day. Once the hour was up, participants would drop off their sandwiches at predetermined depots.

Danny Diliberto, Ladles’ Founder, says, “We received a lot of comments on Friday [the day before] that supermarkets were running out of bread and that’s when I realised we would probably get in 200 000 sandwiches”.

On 18 July, Ladles did a countdown via Facebook Live to kick off the event. Danny says, “The spirit was unbelievable and our social media was just going berserk with comments and posts and pictures. By 11:15, the first sandwiches started arriving. At around 13:30 we hit 125 000 sandwiches. So, we celebrated, but I knew there were still thousands arriving. At around 16:30, we packed away the final sandwich and we came in at 304 583 sandwiches! Cape Town made me proud, that’s for sure, and it made South Africa proud. People really pulled together.”

For more information about Ladles of Love’s sandwich drive and its other projects, visit

By Jamie Uranovsky

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