Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Preparing a Meal for a Local Shelter

This past Friday night I had the opportunity prepare a meal for a local shelter with a few of my friends from school.  This wasn't the first time our grade level {kids and all} collected food and money for the residents of Safe Harbor of Easton, a transitional/emergency center for single men and women who are homeless.  Safe Harbor also has a drop-in service that helps low-income people regain the confidence needed to maintain the tasks of normal, daily life.  

Last year was the first time that our team collected food and prepared a meal for Safe Harbor.  You can check out that post here. 

First, our students and their families were asked to send in the food we needed for the meal.  On the menu that night was fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli, as well as garlic bread and salad.  We also collected cans of coffee, sugar and gift cards to the local grocery store.  The shelter keeps a constant flow of coffee on for people all day long, especially in the colder months so they are always in need of these items.  We were also told that grocery store gift cards are given to people who venture out on their own as a way for them to stock the refrigerator in their new place.  

As a whole...here are a few stats taken from our collection:
  • 45 jars of alfredo sauce
  • 34 boxes of pasta
  • 21 pounds of coffee
  • 30 pounds of sugar
  • $165 in Giant gift cards
  • $142 in cash/coins   

My team was ready to go...

Once we got there, it was straight to work and the residents began to filter in as we cooked.  Some inquired about what was for dinner and most were pleasantly surprised with pasta and white sauce.  We learned that most meals for them are pasta with red sauce in a variety of forms...spaghetti with meatballs, baked ziti, etc.   

There was one significant change from last year....the use of hair nets!  We got a kick out of how ridiculous we looked wearing them, but it was all in good fun.  

The final product...fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and chicken served on trays that reminded me of my elementary school days.  

In addition to the meal, we purchased two cakes from the bakery, one chocolate and one vanilla.  Note that the one had an incorrect spelling of "Safe Harbor" on the topAlthough not our fault, this spelling error was quickly pointed out to us by some residents who joked that it sounded like we were from Boston. 

Overall, I'd say it was a successful night.  The residents couldn't have been more thankful for our meal and contributions and I couldn't have left feeling better about how we helped our community.  We've decided that this excursion will be a yearly event for the fourth grade team and I am already looking forward to next year.  


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