Seasons Fine Foods and Catering owners Joseph Imre and Jazmin Bansagi are using their cooking talents to give back to those working to keep the community safe.
The Napanee husband and wife team have launched a GoFundMe campaign titled Feed The Frontlines Greater Napanee. They’re taking every cent donated to the cause to prepare, package and deliver fresh soups, snacks and meals to local frontline workers.
On Friday they made their first delivery of 50 meals to staff at Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, followed by a delivery of 90 treats to staff at the John M Parrott Centre on Sunday.
Staff at the John M Parrott Centre enjoy some donated treats from Feed The Frontlines Greater Napanee. Submitted photo.
On Tuesday they were back at it, taking food to local grocery store workers.
“The original idea came in late March at Seasons Fine Foods we decided to donate some homemade soups to the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital and then the world went crazy and the pandemic really took hold,” said Imre. “We thought the frontline workers are putting it out there to take care of individuals in the community every day across different spectrums, from pharmacists to grocery workers to truckers even. We decided to start Feed The Frontlines Greater Napanee in the first couple of days of April. By three or four days in, we had already almost reached $2,000 in donations.”
They’ve set a goal of raising $10,000 for the cause and plan to support as many frontline workers as possible throughout the pandemic.
“Access to convenient food is very tough for frontline workers,” said Bansagi. “There’s some restaurants offering takeout and delivery but they just don’t always have the time to go there. Just bringing something to them gives them something healthy and they see the community is behind them too trying to support them.”
Their restaurant closed to walk-ins due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the couple have found ways to make good use of their certified kitchen. Along with Feed The Frontlines, they’ve also helped to prepare meals for Morningstar Mission.
“It’s hit so many businesses like a ton of bricks and many had to let employees go and close their business,” Imre said of safety protocols stemming from the outbreak. “We’re lucky we’re a small business, it’s only my wife and I, we are able to stay open. We really had to re-focus our energy entirely. Now we’re really putting our energy into frozen prepared meals.”
They’re currently running curbside pick up and delivery services within town while also operating the charitable effort.
“We just want to thank all the frontline workers out there each and every day putting themselves at risk to keep this community safe and keep us safe and cared for,” added Imre. “We’re grateful and we do our modest part and we really thank all the donors and the support that has come from the mayor and so many people in the community. It’s great something like this can build so quickly and move out so quickly and we can be there for people, it’s a good feeling.”