Tag: Volunteer

YEGfoodie Visits Meals on Wheels

YEGfoodie Visits Meals on Wheels

As a Social Media Influencer in Edmonton, I am often invited out to restaurant openings and food events in and around Edmonton.  My favourite things to do are when we have “tweetups” for charity.  This is where influencers get together with the marketing team of a charity and live tweet, Instagram or Facebook information about the charity at a peak time to get the word out to the social media world.

Meals on Wheels has invited me a few times now and sometimes this has been in a setting where I actually get to volunteer in the kitchen.   This was one of those events.

Meals on Wheels is a wonderful charity organization that delivers nutritious meals to a diverse mix of people in Edmonton.  A large percentage of their clients are seniors.  Now that my day job involves working for a Home Care company, I understand how that daily visit with a hot meal is the highlight of that person’s day.  The volunteers are able to make someone smile with a quick daily visit.  “Feeding Body and Soul” is their motto.

Volunteers do make a difference.  It takes 25+ people per day to deliver meals.   Volunteers use their own vehicles.  The shifts are generally about 2 hours and you are given a route map.  It is easiest with a driver and a navigator.

My favourite place though is the kitchen.  Dietary requirements from low fat and allergies to full on medical diets are made in house by a Dietitian and Red Seal Chef.  Volunteers are encouraged to have knowledge of food safety before they come into the kitchen.  Proper attire is required and aprons and hairnets are provided.  Pedal style hand-washing sinks await you.

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There are lots of stations to choose from in the kitchen and it is a great team-building experience for your corporate team.  There are areas to help with preparation, serving areas and packaging areas.  Something for every skill level.  I always find it to be an up-beat experience in the kitchen.   I even got to operate the sealing machine once!

This time around, I got to hang out with the lovely Kim Q. from YEGTweetup.  She is a local social media influencer like myself and she now runs her own social media marketing company.  Go Kim!  We were assigned to do the portioning of some frozen spaghetti meals.  By the end of our 2 hour shift, we had over 220 meals assembled.  It was awesome to be able to chat and catch up with Kim and to be able to help out at the same time.

We learned about the “Grow a Row” program while we were there.  If you have a garden at home, you can “grow a row” for the Meals on Wheels program and deliver it to the kitchen where it will be used in the meals.  If you have excess produce, it can also be donated to MOW.  This means that the MOW clients can enjoy fresh produce as part of the summer program. There are so many ways to help out!

They are having their large fundraiser in partnership with Yellowhead Brewery this year.  Beers and Bands will take place September 21. The night will feature live music from Lindsey Walker & Two Bears North,  brewery tours, a silent auction, raffles, great beer, and so much more. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online.

Meals on Wheels is not just for seniors, anyone can use the service.  You can also stop by the office and pick up frozen “Chefs Choice” meals as a healthier option to just pop in the microwave when you don’t feel like cooking.

Such a wonderfully diverse charity right here in Edmonton.  Grab a friend and volunteer today!

Coldest Night of The Year 2015 for Hope Mission

Coldest Night of The Year 2015 for Hope Mission

Food is my passion.  I didn’t always have this passion, my palate was very un-educated until I started dating someone that showed me the finer things in life.

I grew up in a family of five.  I was lucky we always had food on the table.  I know my parents struggled sometimes.  I can’t even imagine the fear of not knowing where your next meal is coming from and whether or not you are going to be able to feed your children.

When I was in high school, I was very passionate about helping.  I wanted to grow up to be a Social Worker someday.  Thankfully my guidance counselor, Mr. Prosk, was blunt and honest.  He begged me not to go ahead with that career path.  He said that I was too soft-hearted and would end up bringing stray people home all of the time, burning out in a very short time.

I never sat on any boards for any of the charities that I volunteered for.  I wanted to just be in the front lines helping people.  I was recognized a couple of times for my efforts (YR Radio Citizen of the Month) and had some nice pieces of paper to put in my keepsake book.

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