They came, they gave, they ate!

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Has it been a month already? It feels like just yesterday that Christine recruited me to be “Spuddy” for a CKCO TV broadcast about the then upcoming Don Cameron Potato Night. Like my 15 seconds of fame that followed, the February Potato Blitz flew by in a blink of the eye.

Community Potato Lunch, Feb 26th, 2010

On January 26th, Don Cameron Potato Night saw Ranger Fans fill the seats of the Aud, but, not before they filled the hands and buckets of House of Friendship staff and volunteers with 52, 146 pounds worth of potato donations!

Then, on February 20th, costume clad volunteers took KW stores by storm, raising the equivalent of 100,395 pounds of potatoes through the annual Supermarket Blitz.

Sandra taking care of business

Last but not least was the Community Potato Lunch, held Friday, February 26th. It was the third and final event hosted by House of Friendship as part of the 15th Annual February Potato Blitz and like the events before- it was a great success!

When Sandra arrived at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church with half of the Hostel Kitchen (you should have seen the amount of boxes of food, kitchen supplies, pots and ladles we brought over in the cargo van), 16,000 pounds of potatoes were still needed in order to reach the campaign goal of 170,000 pounds.

By the time guests plates were cleared, coffee mugs were re-filled, and John Neufeld debut as a stand up comedian was over, the goal was not only met, but surpassed!  In true House of Friendship fashion, everyone pitched in and donated $2,229.47 at the Lunch. This will provide over 20,000 pounds of potatoes because House of Friendship is able to use monetary donations to the Blitz to purchase potatoes throughout the year at a special rate.

Ashley and Matt

Hours before guests were to arrive we already knew the day would be a whirlwind success, as  energetic volunteers started coming in to help as early as 9:00 a.m. Half a dozen got straight to work, setting up the dining room with the table cloths, napkins, cutlery, glasses and plates, while another team of volunteers were busy preparing dessert plates, washing and chopping vegetables for the soups, chili, or veggie trays, in the kitchen. Eby Village tenants and staff, along with chefs Kelly Daly and Sandra from Home Depot, the Francescutti’s Family, Cheryl and Linda were among the masses helping get every thing done.  Potatoes were baked, and potato dishes were made, tea and coffee were brewed, and bread was cut. There were people stirring stove top recipes, others washing dishes, and even others offering a hand completing any other tasks. At 11:30 a.m, Sandra gave the okay to put the water pitchers out on the tables (but not a minute earlier), and with that, we were finally ready. Guests started to trickle in and were greeted by Kathryn, Shelley, and Gail from the main office, before being served by our eager spoon wielding volunteers.

John Neufeld, Executive Director, recognizes Supermarket Blitz church volunteers

Once everyone was seated and settled, tea and coffee were offered and the conversations and food consumption began! John Neufeld then expressed House of Friendship’s deep gratitude for the support received during this year’s Potato Blitz, and went on to thank and recognize the many community partners and volunteers who made it possible.

Linda and Taylor master the art of dish washing

House of Friendship staff, along with volunteers like Donna and Jan from St.Andrew’s, then stepped up to help with the mighty task of cleaning up.  And,  as quickly as it began, the Potato Lunch  drew to a close, marking not only the end of a busy day, but the end of this year’s Potato Blitz.

What a great ending it was, full of wonderful people, amazing food (mmm potato cakes) celebrating a grand total of over 170,000 pounds of potatoes raised to help feed those in need in our community.

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One Response to “They came, they gave, they ate!”

  1. Alissa Says:

    Food was great at the potato lunch this year. I would have to say it was the best potato soup ever!

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