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Volunteer Week – DinnerPartyYVR

April 11, 2016

This week is National Volunteer Week (April 10-16) and with our classroom program in full swing what a great time to acknowledge and share our gratitude for our amazing team of skilled volunteers. We are privileged to be part of a fantastic community that connects so many incredible individuals and organizations who never stop amazing us with their passion and dedication. All this week we want to share some of their stories with you!

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the dedication of our volunteers. This year we have over 140 volunteers working in the classroom, helping us in the office, participating in outreach activities, advocating for our programs, and assisting with raising much-needed funding to support our programs.

Just this past weekend two of our classroom volunteers dedicated their time and energy to supporting Growing Chefs! through hosting a meal to benefit our programs as a part of DinnerPartyYVR.

FullSizeRenderSusanna Gilbert is one of our new classroom volunteers this year and before even getting into the classroom she was eager to select Growing Chefs! as her charity of choice for the event. I was lucky enough to be able to attend Susanna’s delicious, locally inspired dinner, which she hosted in her home and prepared with her two teenage boys.

When asked about her sons’ affinity for good food and helping in the kitchen her response was, “share the passion of food with your kids and then it will become natural for them to be in the kitchen”.

Susanna’s no stranger to the kitchen and loves sharing her passion and expertise for cooking through her own food blog, Mainly Food, where she shares recipes and techniques with other home cooks.

FullSizeRender (2)Later in the evening I was lucky to run into Shannon Boudreau at the DinnerPartyYVR after party. Shannon is another of our classroom volunteers who had also hosted a dinner supporting Growing Chefs! Shannon is the Director of Sales & Events at The Lazy Gourmet and has volunteered with our intermediate program for the past two years. I asked her what her favourite memory from being in the classroom with us was. “That is TOUGH! Everyone always has a blast at the Stir Fry Class each year, but the memory that sticks with me was from the fall term last year when one student would come up to me after every class and ask to take any leftover ingredients so she could go home and make the same thing for her family.”

Shannon says she got involved with our program because “I have such a passion for food and cooking I love to share it with anyone I can… these kids are inspiring, challenging, appreciative, smart, and funny. I’ll continue to volunteer because we are making a direct and almost instant impact in their lives. Like teach a man to fish, teach a child to garden and they eat healthy for a lifetime.”

A big thanks to these two volunteers who went above and beyond to help support our programs! We also wish to extend our thanks to the two other hobby chefs who choose to support Growing Chefs! as their charity of choice. And of course we want to send our sincere thanks to all the organizers and sponsors of DinnerPartyYVR who helped raise $23,820 for local charities. Well done, we can’t wait until next year!IMG_9468

Be sure to check back each day this week for more volunteer profiles. If you’re interested in joining our volunteer team check out our volunteer information page for more details and to submit an application.

Amanda Adams – Growing Chefs! Program Coordinator


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