Aramark partners with Out of the Cold to support COVID-related food insecurity
Peter Domaradzki’s ancestors immigrated to Canada 50 years ago, and he took his grandmother's advice regarding his career path: "If you work with food you will never have to worry about being hungry."
Now it’s time for Aramark’s head chef at Branksome Hall to pay forward his good fortune. Along with Food Service Director Julie Trudeau, the duo will be volunteering their services once a week, including on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, to prepare 110 full meals at a time, for the First Interfaith Out of the Cold Program.
Previously operating out of St. Matthew’s United Church on St. Clair Avenue West and using its kitchen facilities, throughout last winter the program saw its funding withdrawn for 2021 owing to public health guidelines related to COVID-19. A search for community partners to prepare hot meals, funded by private donations, ensued.
“Over the past year during the pandemic, I reflected on my life and how fortunate I was,” says Trudeau who, along with Domaradzki and Branksome’s Executive Director, Finance & Administration Elliott Brodkin and his wife Rena, prepared the first batch of meals on November 5. “I think sometimes we take for granted having a roof over our head and a hot meal. I am especially excited to be able to volunteer my time on Christmas Eve. It's always been my favorite holiday and what an amazing gift it is to provide 110 people with the gift of food.”
The meal will leave Branksome and be distributed by community service organization, Ve’ahavta, to homeless individuals living on the streets and in encampments. Over the course of the 28-week program, Branksome Hall will have provided a total of 2,640 hot, wholesome meals this winter season.