Unity House’s community meal serves as many as 200 guests at times. It’s hard work that is the result of the efforts of staff, volunteers, food donations, purchased food, and lots of teamwork. Also helpful are interns. Local students who come from various colleges spend time working at Unity House as interns. Unity House benefits from their help, while students earn valuable experience and knowledge providing direct service. Interns also learn a lot from our staff, who serve as mentors.
Recently, Dietetic Intern Carly Cahill from Sage Colleges hosted a wonderful tasting in our dining room. Ms. Cahill made a presentation on the importance of fruits and vegetables and featured a new recipe, Lentil and Squash soup.
The presentation was not formal. Ms. Cahil took care to ensure it was accessible to all who came in for free lunch that day. Her table, recipe cards, and most of all, the hot food, were all easy to access and served up in a welcoming way. Many of our guests not only tried a new food, but learned how to prepare some of the very foods that are on offer in our food pantry.
Staff and volunteers in the kitchen served the Lentil Squash soup in the dining room, where it was a big hit, possibly because soup is a welcome treat on a cold, January day. Before guests even entered the dining room, Ms. Cahil was offering samples of the hot dish to guests. It was a great way for guests to try something new before they got to the serving area where they could decide for themselves whether they wanted to commit to a bowl of the soup. This helped reduce waste.
How did our diners receive Ms. Cahill’s dish? It was a hit! Maybe it was the delicious ingredients, the farm-fresh produce, the expert cooking, or even the approachable nature of Ms. Cahill, who offered the dish with compassion and respect. Or maybe it was a combination of all those things. In any case, we appreciate our interns and all the goodness they share.
Interested in helping? Consider volunteering in our kitchen or dining room, making a gift to Unity House Food Programs, or hosting a food drive for our pantry. For more information, call us at (518) 274-2607 x4133.