In these COVID-19 times, I think we can all agree that a little bit of comfort can go a long way. And comfort is the name of the game at Morning Relief Mission. This is especially true for the members of the Wednesday Night Baking Team.
“We started meeting back in October,” says Trudy McCarthy, Morningstar’s Administrative Assistant, and leader of the team of about half a dozen bakers. “We had quite a bit of fruit in the freezers,” says McCarthy, “and the Lion’s Club Hall kitchen was quiet in the evenings so we thought it would be a great way to add an extra special layer of hospitality to the meal program.”
McCarthy, a native Newfoundlander who moved to Greater Napanee in 2018, grew up in a family of twelve. “Baked goods were a staple of my childhood,” says McCarthy, who remembers growing up in a home where there were cookies and pies on the table at all times. “A lot of the recipes our team is using come straight from my family's kitchen and all of the volunteers on this team are encouraged to bring their own recipes as well.”
The volunteer bakers switch it up every week to ensure variety: from cookies, to cobbler, to pies, to a huge variety of loaves. After one night with these compassionate chefs I can say this is the place to be on a winter night—the air is warm, the smell is sweet, and the laughter and smiles will kill the COVID blues in an instant.
In addition to the healthy, balanced meals Morningstar serves each week—approximately 1,300 now, countywide—the Baking Team’s contributions have sweetened the deal, substantially. Tuna casserole and Salisbury steak are great, but who doesn’t love a slice of banana bread once the main is done? These volunteers know the impact a little home-baked comfort can have on someone who has had a tough year.
When I left the Lion’s Club Hall after having met Trudy and her team, my trip home was full of this strange feeling of love. Here was a group of people, already volunteering in so many other ways at Morningstar, no one told or asked them to start a baking team. This was just something they wanted to do: a true from-the-heart gesture, motivated by the desire to go that extra mile, and, most of all, to bring a little joy into the lives of others.
Those wishing to make a donation to Morningstar Relief Mission may do so safely, and securely, online at: www.morningstarmission.ca/donate. Your gift will be receipted immediately.