Sunday, February 28, 2010


Feeding the Soul: Emma does it well...

One of the highlights of the day here at Winnipeg Harvest is 11:30 AM. Why, you ask. Well, it's lunch time and the kitchen beckons. There's always a lineup, because the food is so good, and to top it off, it's nutritious. The reason why we enjoy lunch time here at Harvest is because Emma is an excellent cook, using her vast cooking experience and a little motherly concern to plan a variety of menus with the food at hand. There are always lots of salads; pasta, leaf lettuce, rice, to name just a few. Along with that one can find chicken fingers, or a wonderful soup, chilli, many types of sandwiches, and there's always plenty of fruit and fresh veggies.

Emma came to Canada from the Philippines and began her working career as a garment worker. It wasn't long before she became a quality control inspector and then moved on to be a floor supervisor. An opportunity came along to work as a cook at Central Park Lodge and Emma took it. She loves working with people and this was a great possibility to do that. Central Park Lodge is where she learned to cook for large groups of people. From there she moved on to the Holiday Inn South, working as a line cook. “The chef there liked what I did.”, says Emma, and so she received a promotion, becoming a sous chef.

Emma speaks fondly of her 25 years at the University of Manitoba. She learned a great deal there, from preparing pastas to pizza to gourmet sandwiches to preparing banquets. After her time at the University, Emma retired. What now, she thought. “After two years at home, wondering what to keep busy with and being bored a great deal, I began to look around for volunteer opportunities. I was at the Baptist Mission one day and someone suggested I check out Winnipeg Harvest.” said Emma with a smile. That was three years ago. She began here at Harvest by working in the sorting department but it wasn't long before her excellent cooking skills were brought to bear in the kitchen. Emma hasn't looked back. She loves her work and loves the people. Her cooking feeds the stomach and her smile feeds the soul.

“If you are retired and bored at home, try Winnipeg Harvest. It's a great place to volunteer.” says Emma. She has a way with folks around here, and says she has incentive to get up in the morning because she knows she is coming to Harvest. “I am treated with love and respect, and there is always someone to go to if I have a problem.”

About Harvest, Emma says “It's a good place with fascinating people. I feel important here and people don't want me to leave. Gary in the Volunteer department has been a great support and rumor has it, David Northcott appreciates what I do here at Harvest. What more could I want.”

Thanks Emma, for being part of the team at Winnipeg Harvest. Lunches will never be the same if you ever leave.
Robb Nickel, June 26, 2008

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