Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Staying Positive

Our wonderful team of kitchen volunteers.
At the Wednesday Community Meal it takes positivity and determination to feed an unknown number of guests each week.

We have to utilize the limited amount of food we have the best we can and basically just work hard, keep an open mind and get creative if we have to, because we aim to feed everyone who comes to our door between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

I feel strongly that we shouldn't turn anyone away and it's an attitude I learned from my parents.

I grew up in a large family, I have three brothers and a twin sister, and it was common for at least one of us to have a friend over at dinnertime. My parents always said "of course they can join us, there's always enough for one more."  They were easygoing and welcoming and they were right — if you are willing to put in the effort to figure something out, there's enough. This positivity made our home happy and very popular.

Today at the meal, we had to put in some of that effort to feed everyone. There was an extra long line to get in for the first hour of service and by noon we were quickly running out of entrees.

For a side dish we were serving pasta with kale, garlic and shallots. I knew the dish was seasoned well and could be turned into an entree with a few additions. So my fellow volunteer Nancy and I ran down to the basement pantry to see what we could find. We found garbanzo beans, roasted red peppers and shredded cheese and ran upstairs and worked as fast as we could.

The rest of the  kitchen volunteers were so supportive. They said "that sounds good" and "oh, I would like to eat that," encouraging us to keep going. There wasn't time for perfection and our friends in the kitchen understood that.

Today was a success because we served 343 delicious and nutritious meals during our two-hour service and there was enough for everyone.
The pasta and kale side dish that morphed into an entree halfway through our service today. The first lucky guests in the door got the pasta as well as ribs from Phil's Uptown Meat Market and homemade biscuits made by Sierra, Quinn, Nicholas and Ava.

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