Duner’s Chef Laura Fonner is leading an effort by Charlottesville Women in Food to help feed the homeless this winter, and you can help. Every Tuesday through March, Fonner and her team are providing dinners through PACEM, a local organization that coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelter for the homeless. The dinners will be served at a different church each week, with each one feeding approximately 80 people, plus volunteers.
Fonner says she became inspired to help earlier this year by people she met while serving a dinner for the homeless. “Being part of the Charlottesville Women in Food group,” thought Fonner, “this is the perfect opportunity to make this effort our first big thing as a group.” And, it’s not just restaurant chefs, but women from all types of food businesses. “Take Nona’s pasta sauce and pair it with Mary Ann Valente’s homemade pasta, and all of a sudden you have an Italian dinner for the shelter,” Fonner says. “We are coming together as a group and using our culinary talents to pull together all of the meals.”
What makes it worthwhile, Fonner says, is seeing the direct impact on the lives of those in need. “It excites me,” Fonner says, “because I will be able to hear all of their stories and how they got to be where they are and hopefully see some progress in their lives by the end of this season.”
Members of Charlottesville Women in Food do all of the cooking and provide all of the ingredients, and you can support their efforts. “Every donation of money, food, or physical help is going to be greatly appreciated,” says Fonner. To donate or volunteer, contact Fonner at firstname.lastname@example.org.