How A Bottle Drive Can Feed A Community

 

Is your pantry filling up with empty Harmony milk jugs? Has your porch become a holding area for Sheldon Creek bottles? Don’t despair – we’re having a bottle drive this Sunday!

Fiesta Farms has long been a big supporter of The Stop, one of the city’s first food banks. In October of last year the Stop announced their partnership with Wychwood Open Door program, “a daytime drop-in centre that has served the St. Clair West area since 1986. Their small team serves over 40,000 nutritious meals each year, while offering vital programs like life skills training, peer advocacy, and harm reduction services.”

This program, along with all of the Stop’s work, is vital for people in our city. Before the crisis, the Open Door drop-in was a place for people experiencing homelessness, a number that grows daily, to come in from the elements and rest. Something people who have gotten used to sheltering in place might take for granted.

Now all of the Stop’s programs are facing challenges like never before. Executive Director Leigh Godbold had this to say:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is drawing into stark relief how many of us are one missed paycheque away from using a food bank. 1 in 8 Canadian households were food insecure before this pandemic began, and in six months, we know this number will be much higher.”

 

 

A recent Globe & Mail story reported that the Stop’s food bank has seen a 30% increase in clients, “many of whom have never accessed emergency food services before. The centre is also welcoming more people from outside its catchment area because of closings elsewhere.” And while the Stop is rushing to meet demand, they are also “contending with fewer volunteers and the cancellation of its two biggest fundraisers, which combined contribute more than $600,000 to its operations.”

This Sunday come to the store’s receiving area and bring back all those bottles you need to return. We’re happy to give you your deposit, but if you want to give that money to help during a great time of need, we are set up to take your donations for St. Clair Supports The Stop!

And on Monday, July 13th, we’ll start selling disposable masks for $1.00 and giving the proceeds to St. Clair Supports The Stop!

This crisis has brought people together, while staying far apart, like never before. And while it’s a frightening time, it also feels hopeful. Trying times can bring out the best in us and, if nothing else, COVID has certainly done that. We see it in our customers and staff every day.

See you on Sunday, and don’t forget your bottles!

 



Syrian Cuisine: Qatayef

 

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It’s always exciting learning about new foods and trying new recipes, especially so when the recipe hails from another part of the world. And if the recipe happens to be a scrumptious dessert, so much the better! How about a small, hand-held yeast pancake, folded over and filled with creamed cheese and nuts, then fried until crunchy on the outside, and then served with a sweet and delicately scented orange blossom syrup. How does that sound? Continue »



Labneh and Greek Yogurt

 

 

photo courtesy of Melissa Bays

photo courtesy of Melissa Bays

Greek yogurt has been all the rage for a while now, with more and more people choosing the thick, creamy yogurt to the more traditional plain or Balkan style. Greek yogurt is basically plain yogurt that has been strained of much of its whey, resulting in a thicker product that is slightly lower in lactose as some of it is in the whey that is strained. But you can make your own Greek yogurt at home quite easily; all you have to do is let it strain in your fridge for a day or even two; the longer it sits and strains, the thicker it gets. Continue »



Syrian Cuisine: Tahini

 

Roasted Beet and Tahini Dip

Roasted Beet and Tahini Dip

 

 

In our most recent series we are having a look at the cuisine from the Middle East, specifically Syria. And one of the first things we notice is that there a few ingredients that pop up quite often, so we should get to know them, how to access them or prepare them and have them handy. Za’atar, preserved lemons, and sesame oil feature prominently in the culinary traditions of Syria, and today we are examining another must-have ingredient; tahini. Continue »



Syrian Cuisine: Preserved Lemon

 

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One of the most indispensible ingredients in Middle-Eastern cuisine is preserved lemon, a must-have for so many dishes like tajines, hummus, stews, salads, couscous, grilled lamb and chicken, the list goes on and on. So many dishes from Syria and the Levant are improved, enriched and brightened up with this fantastic condiment that once you get used to cooking with them, you’ll want to chop up a little preserved lemon in almost everything you make.
This means you’ll want to have a jar of preserved lemon handy, and lucky for us all, making and keeping preserved lemons is ridiculously quick and easy. Caveat: you have to wait a month before using them, so why not make a batch today and enjoy them in early June and for the rest of the summer! Continue »