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A Holiday Message and Recipe from our Community Chef

By Monica Bettson
Community Chef,
The Stop’s 1884 Davenport location

 

It’s been a bustling few weeks in The Stop’s kitchen. We’ve prepared special dishes to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving, and served up chili dogs to honour the favourite meal of Cliff Gayer⁠—a beloved co-worker who passed away from cancer in 2011.

It’s been my privilege to prepare these meaningful meals alongside my volunteer team. Together, we’ve been able to nourish people with healthy food, give them energy to conquer hardships, and most importantly, contribute to a place of community and friendship.

We’ve also had vital conversations about the food we eat, where it comes from, and how it informs our cultural traditions and sense of identity.

For example: Thanksgiving. Indigenous peoples in Canada have a long history of celebrating the fall harvest that predates the arrival of European settlers.

“All of our ceremonies, all of the things that we do, have to do with giving thanks. So [Thanksgiving is] part of a continuum of something that’s been practised for thousands of years,” says Mohawk nation member Brian Rice in a CBC interview.

This harvest season, The Stop is thankful to be setting a much bigger table. We’ve recently acquired Wychwood Open Door, a vital daytime drop-in centre in the St. Clair West community.

With The Stop’s Wychwood Open Door now part of our family, we’ll serve over 100,000 warm and nutritious meals every year.

I’ve seen firsthand the impact that these shared meals can have.

88% of people who visit our food programs say that they have feelings of belonging at The Stop, and that they feel more hopeful as a result.

85% say that they’re provided with opportunities to share their knowledge and skills with others.

And the statistic I’m most proud of: 89% say that they’ve met at least one person through a Stop program that they consider a friend.

If you have the beautiful privilege of sharing food with friends and family this long weekend, I ask that you give thought to the members of your community who do not.

Your donations to The Stop allow to keep setting a big table for anyone that’s searching for food, community, and friendship.

Bring people together this Thanksgiving

 

If you’re attending a get-together this weekend, I recommend bringing this delicious and easy delicata squash dish from Sam Sifton at The New York Times. We made a simplified version that was a huge hit in our drop-in!

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times