Here are some pictures of my heroes from yesterday...Bountiful Chili Kit Delivery Day!
Brad with his cart full of exquisite veggies
Nathanial with the veggies unloaded at the Foodbank
And here is what happened at The Foodbank...
A sea of bags from Melinda filling up
Beautiful, gorgeous produce peeking out
Done and delivered!!
When I started this project it was a dream for sure...a dream to be able to give a meal to those who needed it and have it be bursting with health. I wanted to pack it full of great protein, wonderful vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, healthy fats, blood-sugar stabilizing carbs, fragrant spices and have it be a "good old American meal"...only better. This dream swirled around one thing...I needed help. I had already developed a chili recipe that was loaded with everything I wanted. On paper, it looked great...fabulous actually, once my teenage artists decorated the recipe cards.
But, in order to make this dream come to life, I needed a soul mate or two. Boy, did I ever find them.
This post is beyond a Red, White and Food tribute. It is really a love letter to The Fresh Market. It is still February after all!
One day, big as life, I walked in there and asked to speak with Curt, the store manager. I love that store and especially love its produce department. I explained to Curt what I had in mind and how essential fresh produce was to these chili kits. He didn't waste a nanosecond and declared, "We are in! We totally get what you are wanting to do and it fits our philosophy to a "T".
The Fresh Market has a mantra...and it would be great if it was contagious. They believe in doing the right thing the first time and giving people their best. They know about the value of good, wholesome food and how health and lives can change for the better. Like they said, it starts with one person, one meal, one community.
To help with this project, Brad, the produce manager ordered in especially for us...
55 pounds of red bell peppers, 50 pound of green bell peppers, 10 pounds of mushrooms, 50 pounds of yellow onions, 48 pounds of organic carrots and 50 pounds or organic celery.
From the bottom and top of my heart, I thank them for their vision and generosity. With their help, this project came to life and jumped off the recipe card and into all those bags. The veggies they brought to the table were so fresh they sparkled!
The Fresh Market brims with other delights as well...fabulous fruits, cheeses and breads, meats, poultry and seafood, a mouth-watering ready-to-eat case, a dazzling array of wonderful oils and vinegars, pastas, sauces, spices and really fun candies and nut mixes. They have lot of different beverages, coffees and teas, beers, waters and organic and local wines. They also carry my fave cleaning potions which I will talk about next week. Here is a link for you to learn more: http://www.thefreshmarket.com/. Their website is fabulous...full of great recipes, too. Better yet...visit the store! We are so lucky they are in our community!
While The Fresh Market does no advertising, they do publish a great magazine called "Inspirations" that you can pick up at the check out counter. In it are some great wine picks under $10! It is Thirsty Thursday after all and why not head out there and check out their selection?!
I also want to thank Nathanial and his fellow classmates at The Clinton School of Public Service for helping. Without Nathanial yesterday, I would have had to tie produce to the roof of my car. More than just a help carrying veggies, he was also a cheerful and encouraging supporter throughout this project. There is another post with more thanks you's. Go to January 18th, "Fighting Hunger...."
Thank you to the Arkansas Foodbank for pulling the canned goods and for letting me hang out there and stuff all those bags yesterday. They also found a wonderful agency to disperse these kits to families in need. As I write this, 100 plus families are firing up about 600-700 servings of Bountiful Chili!
xoxoxoxo to The Fresh Market and to all who dreamed along with me! We got it done!