by Edith Cody-Rice
An interview with Ingrid Kadoke
Millstone News: What is A Meal for All?
Ingrid Kadoke:A Meal for All is a free weekly breakfast open to everyone. The meal includes eggs, bacon or sausages, toast juice, coffee or tea, with fresh muffins provided by the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre.
Millstone News: When did you start serving breakfasts?
Ingrid Kadoke: Our first breakfast was served on Thursday May 4 of this year.
Millstone News: How did this idea arise?
Ingrid Kadoke: A “grass roots” group of people (non denominational) from Almonte and surrounding communities, have come together to create the “A Meal For All” initiative.
It has as its mission to build community by providing opportunities to gather and share wholesome food.
The idea evolved from my volunteer work at The Hunger Stop/Lanark County Food Bank, where I realized that there were as many as 300 individuals from Almonte alone who rely on the food bank on a regular basis. Also, in speaking with other community programs in Carleton Place and Perth as well as Carebridge and The Mississippi Mills Youth Centre, I learned that there are many people in our communities who are socially isolated or marginalized, an issue that was intensified by the pandemic.
It seemed to me that here in Almonte (The Friendly town) and greater Mississippi Mills, there was no opportunity where everyone/anyone is welcome to gather, freely, without agenda – just to sit and chat and perhaps share some food.
Millstone News: How did you get started?
Ingrid Kadoke: Initially we thought of creating a weekly free lunch program, but that seemed a bit ambitions for a small group of “newbies”, so we took a page form the St. James Breakfast Table (in Carleton Place) and developed a free weekly breakfast program as a first small step.
The next challenge was to secure a venue. We needed to be centrally located in Almonte (walking distance for residents without transportation), fully accessible and with a kitchen that was certified by the Public Health Inspector. After a bit searching – the Community Presbyterian Church stepped up and offered their hall.
Millstone News: How are you being financed?
Ingrid Kadoke: Without fail, every organization we approached has generously offered financial support, including
Almonte Community Coordinators (The Hub/Rebound)
The Almonte Civitan Club
The Almonte Lions Club
We also received funding from the Hillside RP Church, private citizens, as well as The Sterling Restaurant who, in addition to holding a fundraiser for us, fills our food orders at cost and provides much needed “culinary” support. The Town of Mississippi Mills has also pledged seed money.
We have received in-kind donations from Fulton’s Sugar Bush and Maple Shop, Don’s Meat Market and The Hunger Stop/Lanark County Food bank.
The Lanark County Food Bank is our official “Account Holder”, donations can be made out to “The Lanark County Food Bank – A MEAL FOR ALL.” (Charitable donation receipts will be issued.) and of course free will donations at the breakfast are welcome.
Millstone News: When does this breakfast occur?
Ingrid Kadoke: A Meal for All is a drop in event every Thursday morning from 8:30-10:30am. at the Community Presbyterian Church, 111 Church Street in Almonte