Guest post from Janis Izquierdo, Technical Support Analyst with Scotiabank
At my workplace, we have contributed to many food drives around the holidays, and we have contributed to turkey drives at Thanksgiving. After winning the $250 voucher from the Greenbelt Foundation from NewsTalk 1010, I knew I wanted to donate the prize in a special way -- something a bit more involved than putting the vouchers in an envelope and sending them to a charity. After speaking with members of my department at Scotiabank, we came up with the idea of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner. We’re all very excited to help out with prepping and delivering the meal.
We have never made a personal gesture to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for an underprivileged family but I knew where to start. We currently donate to an organization called Youthlink on a yearly basis. I reached out to Diana Gibbs of Youthlink who was able to put us in touch with a low-income family of six through the Wrap-Around Program.
The family we will be preparing the dinner for consists of a widowed, single father with five children, currently struggling financially as a family unit.
As I can afford to prepare my own Thanksgiving dinner for my family, there are many others that cannot. Why not prepare an additional meal, as I prepare my own? This gesture, to prepare the dinner for a low-income family who can share in our tradition of giving thanks is truly fitting for the occasion. We have volunteers to make the desserts and I will be making the main dishes. My inspiration for the dinner will be recipes shared from my late mother, who continues to inspire me in the kitchen.
Our menu will consist of traditional turkey with gravy, stuffing with apples and pecans, candied carrots, garlic mashed red potatoes, roasted corn on the cob, and of course, cranberry sauce. For dessert, apple crumble, butter pecan tarts, brownies and cookies.
In passing, I have ventured through Farmers’ Markets when I happened to be in the area. But now after winning this prize, I am aware of many different locations of Greenbelt Farmers’ Markets and their associated web pages. My favourite part of shopping at the Farmer's’ Market is knowing that the produce, meat and products are locally grown and prepared, Ontario branded, along with benefiting the local farmer and strengthening our local communities.
I am also now aware of the work of the Greenbelt Foundation. Again, many thanks for the prize!