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I’ve been asked a lot these days what we’re doing over at Rouge.. for the past m…

2 min read

I’ve been asked a lot these days what we’re doing over at Rouge.. for the past month or so, a small group of us have been spending most days there, having activated the kitchen to make lunches and other food for people who need it. We started out with bagged lunches to supply teachers who quickly coordinated a safe distribution point for kids in Bowness as soon as schools, rec centres, boys + girls clubs, libraries and other safe spaces closed, and kids lost access to breakfast and lunch programs. Many agency kitchens closed, as did all the restaurants, church and community groups that previously prepared those lunches.
We continued helping out wherever we found gaps and need-other small coordinated lunch/food distribution points, outreach programs supporting homeless youth, facilities with more clients affected by family violence. We pick up miscellaneous ingredients from the leftovers foundation and have had items dropped off from closed (temporarily and permanently) restaurants and corporate kitchens, food producers, even a friend who owns vending machines in now-closed schools + gyms. It’s like an ongoing black box competition, and the chefs -Paul Rogalski from Rouge, Andrew Hewson and Simon Dunn from SAIT, and Elycia Ross from Lil’ Truck on the Prairie (not all at the same time)- not only make hundreds of sandwiches a day, but turn the other random items we wind up with -flats of tomatoes, liquid egg, frozen berries, jugs of salsa, tofu, pretzel buns- non…dishes we can redistribute or sell out in the side yard at Rouge, a pick-up pop-up we spontaneously started doing one Friday afternoon about 3 weeks ago when we made a batch of risotto. Since we haven’t received any funding (we’ve put together grant applications to try to access some of the millions directed toward feeding people during Covid, but most are only accessible by NFPs and/or have been snapped up), 100% of the money we generate goes back toward buying supplemental ingredients (butter, mayo, fruit), paper bags and packaging for our operation.

24 thoughts on “I’ve been asked a lot these days what we’re doing over at Rouge.. for the past m…

  1. We’ve (@bb4ck) been so fortunate to be one part of working with you and the Rogue team to feed kids all over our city, Julie! And yes, there are lots of kids we are still feeding and caring for! So grateful for your creativity & resilience in all of this😘

  2. I love what you are doing to support people and families. You are having such a positive impact on our community.💙

  3. Amazing work @dinnerwithjulie @drewhewson @chefrogalski @olivierreynaud @lilchefyyc @rougerestaurant @boyfrommerthyr 🙏🙌. See you at 1pm!

  4. The risotto we brought from you was divine!! Thank you to your team for such great work in the community!

  5. Wow, that is truly incredible. My sister was helping with the food pantry and seniors lunches at a Calgary church and also with the Mustard Seed before COVID and it is so great to hear there is another alternative for those in need 👏🏻💗

  6. @drewhewson I miss the kids at SAIT making my weekly (or daily) sirloin sandwich and double chocolate cookie!

  7. Sadly I have to miss today. We gobbled down everything I bought last week in record time.

  8. This is such a fantastic project. Thank you all for your compassion and generosity!

  9. You guys are doing such important things. Where could I send some cash to help with supplies?

  10. You have a huge heart! Thank you to everyone working hard to make a difference!💕

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