Sharing Food, Bringing Joy


November 26, 2019 By: Tina Mortimer Category: Partner News

The holidays seem to come and go so fast—it can be hard to slow down and remember what makes the meals we share this time of year so special. But slow down we did, then we asked a few members of our Second Harvest Heartland community about their favorite holiday traditions around food …


"Thanksgiving I go to my sister’s family in Des Moines and my niece-in-law and I cook the entire meal.  My niece lost her parents when she was young and asked if I would teach her to cook. We have been doing it for five years and we really bond. It’s a time to celebrate with family and give thanks for our blessings, one being we are never food deprived.” 

- Ginnee Berg, Volunteer


“My favorite meal to share with my loved ones is our annual Christmas Eve dinner tradition.  For us, it is a time for celebration of our faith and our family.  It is also an occasion to pause, reflect and to consider how blessed we are knowing so many we have encountered throughout the year cannot and do not have the opportunity to enjoy such wonderful benefits and comforts in life.” 

- Shawn Morrison, executive director, Good N’ the Hood 


"My favorite meal to prepare and share around the holidays is meatballs. It’s also one of the special traditions we have in our family. I’m in charge of Swedish meatballs every Christmas. I’m kind of a big deal with my nieces and nephews.” 

- Paul Jacobs, director of transportation, Second Harvest Heartland


"Traditions of food are woven throughout the holidays: browned turkey, a variety of stuffings and seasonal vegetable dishes. Also, experimenting with new recipes is a tradition.  We are most looking forward to slowing our pace and connecting with our family around the table.”

- Heidi Groess, client and advocate



“The night sky is so often pink this time of year. My mom always said it meant Mrs. Claus was busy making cookies. While Mom has been gone for more than 20 years, she remains at the table as we make the holiday treats just the way she taught us. Candy cane cookies, nut goodie bars and Russian tea cakes are among the treats that will always bring me back to her kitchen and the love she so generously shared there.”

- Jessica Foster, writer and multimedia specialist at Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a Second Harvest Heartland agency partner


"My favorite holiday meal tradition surprises people. I might describe it as the 'fast before the feast.' On Christmas Eve, my mother used to make a very simple non-meat milk soup. In the Catholic tradition in which I grew up, vigils of feast days (like Christmas) were traditionally days of fast and abstinence. The fast was broken after Midnight Mass, when my grandma would serve breakfast of sausages and eggs at 2:00 AM on Christmas morning!"

 - Mark Hiemenz, donor


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