Simply Supper seeks to help families with meal drive

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Do you know someone that could use a few meals in the freezer – a bit of support – to help get through a tough time? It doesn’t matter the financial situation, when someone is ill, in hospital, overwhelmed with a new baby or facing economic difficulties because of a job loss, it can be a struggle to get supper on the table.

There’s a group in the capital region ready to help, and Simply Supper’s fourth annual meal drive has the unusual problem of needing more nominated families to assist. The southwest Edmonton freezer meal preparation/assembly business wants to offer over a dozen freezer-ready meals to nominated families facing any type of challenge – illness, economic hardship, etc. So far it has received only 25 of 65 eligible nominations leading up to an April 7 deadline.

“Clients and volunteers and former nominees help spread the word, but we want to help anyone facing difficulty of any kind throughout Edmonton and area. Growing up, my family used the food bank, and I always said if I can give back, I will give back. This is my way of doing that,” says Simply Supper owner Monita Chapman, who felt the importance of such a gesture hit home when her own stepfather was ill with cancer and then her youngest child was admitted to hospital. Days spent at the Cross Cancer Institute and Stollery Children’s Hospital left no time to think about what to make for supper.

“Giving enough meals for about a month can help people get through. It just takes the pressure off, takes away the worry of getting something on the table when life is overwhelming or in turmoil,” Chapman says. Last year, a handful of St. Albert families were helped by the meal drive.

Stephanie Moore understands the comfort and power a simple meal can offer. Diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago when her children were three and six, Moore says getting 18 family-sized meals from Simply Supper took away the worry about providing healthy, nutritious food for her kids when her world was turned upside down.

“Some days all I could face was having cereal for dinner – this just took one thing off my plate at such an emotional time. It was awesome to feel so supported when the rug was pulled out from under,” she says.

Moore had previously been one of the dozens of volunteers who spend a busy spring day each May assembling and delivering 1,200 meals to 65 nominated families – that’s 5,000 servings of seafood, chicken, pork and beef-based meals that are ready to freeze, defrost, cook and eat.

“No one knows when they may be in need of community support: a mom with new baby, loved one in hospital or caring for elderly family member, so a home cooked meal delivered with love and a hug can make a world of difference,” says Chapman.

Nominations can be made through simplysupper.ca or at #1, 2305 Rabbit Hill Road.

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Lucy Haines

Lucy Haines has been a freelancer writer for the St. Albert Gazette since 2012. She writes features on travel, food, seniors, homes and gardens.