Once a client enters one of our permanent housing programs, our staff helps them transition and thrive in their new home. This includes learning how to plan meals and cook for themselves. Our most vulnerable clients, like the 32 men and women living at Cordell Place in Bethesda, face several barriers when trying to create healthy meals, including lack of tools and knowledge and limited access to fresh produce. So when Total Wine & More approached us about volunteering to help our clients, we knew right where their skills would shine!
Our inaugural “Healthy Meal Cook Off” engaged three teams from Total Wine & More at Cordell Place on different days. Each team was tasked with cooking a complete and nutritious meal for our clients. After each meal, residents filled out a score card, ranking the meal on taste, smell, and other categories.
The “Healthy Meal Cook Off” days were exciting for our clients. Not only did they enjoy three delicious, healthy meals, but more importantly, they valued the time spent with each other and these hardworking volunteers. Homelessness is very isolating, so our clients truly benefit from engaging with others as they continue to recover from their traumatic experiences.
Our volunteers were reminded that it is always better to give than receive. “We were very excited to come and help prepare the meals for the folks and love interacting with them as well,” said Total Wine volunteer Rakhi Handa.
In the end, Team 2 went home with the winning title, but everyone who participated in this event took with them a lasting connection to their community.
Do you have a special skill or interest that you’d love to share with our clients? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your interests and get involved.
Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) is a non-profit with the mission to provide solutions in Montgomery County to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief, and nonrecurring. Learn more about MCCH.