I sponsored the Farm to Fork event anonymously because I wanted to share my story, and I wanted to share it anonymously because leaving this story without a name means that it can be OUR story, one that you will run across over and over.
When I heard about the work the Crow River Food Council was doing I was awestruck! The Montrose Cooks! program was one program that would have helped my family in a time of tragedy and struggle. Growing up in rural Minnesota, I had a very stable family life; my parents decided to always have one parent at home and one parent working. They decided that my mother would be able to bring home more money, with her education level, so she worked while my father stayed home.
We were going strong as a family unit, until the unthinkable happened; my mother got sick. I hear this time and time again. Medical bills pile up and families have a hard time keeping their heads above water. My parents burned through their considerable savings in no time, insurance covered some but not all. Things happen, people get sick, and die. My mother died, leaving behind a grieving husband and three small confused children.
Shortly thereafter our stove broke. We were struggling. At this time, we did not have the resources that there are now. My father found a local job that took him away from us most days and nights, and he also enrolled in school. He was our hero. When my mother was alive, she did more of the cooking, with my father as her sous chef. They worked together to make home cooked meals that we could thrive on and enjoy as a family. However, with my mother gone and no stove, my father didn’t have the knowledge or resources beyond the microwave, which mostly meant cheap, processed boxed options.
When I heard that the Montrose Cooks! program was about teaching families how to cook (with a free-take home-crockpot, hands on experience, sample meal, and grocery bag with the new learned recipe items to take home), I just had to sponsor this group of individuals who are making a huge difference in the lives of families like mine, like ours, and our neighbors who are struggling to get back on their feet. This is indeed an example of teaching a man how to fish, so he can eat for a lifetime!
Editor’s note: you can find more information on the Montrose Cooks! program we support at Grace Place in an upcoming Food Council post. In the meantime, like Grace Place on Facebook or contact them directly by calling (612) 532-3654.
Learn more about our Farm to Fork event.