On Sunday, January 26 a group of volunteers put on a second free dinner and talk at the Carp Memorial Hall to promote local and organic food; support the West Carleton food bank; share ideas for healthy living; and build community.

Nina-Navjit Kaur from Yoga and Tea and husband Kanwal Surai came with their children to enjoy the vegetarian part of the meal.

Nina-Navjit Kaur from Yoga and Tea and husband Kanwal Surai came with their children to enjoy the vegetarian part of the meal.

The menu included two types of chili, one with ground elk, thanks to a donation from the Elk Ranch on Old Carp Rd and Sylvia McGee for making it and a vegetarian one made by Sandy Rawson; fresh veggies including fennel to aid digestion; devilled eggs generously donated by Shawn from Double K Farm on Carp Rd; gluten-free cornbread that was too crunchy and hard on the teeth (sorry folks); gluten-free cookies and sticky pumpkin loaf lovingly made without sugar by volunteer Kate McGlade; simple stewed fruit that was delicious without extra sweetening; various herbal teas with natural sweeteners; and pure water from Nelson Water.

arp holistic health practitioner Jim Dowling donating the food sensitivity test he won during the raffle to Chuck Burnham.

Carp holistic health practitioner Jim Dowling donating the food sensitivity test he won during the raffle to Chuck Burnham.

Guests were treated to new condiments with unfamiliar tastes as well as health benefits such as nutritional yeast for extra B vitamins, coconut oil to boost the metabolism and wild-crafted seaweed to support the thyroid gland.

Chelsey Corrigan N.D. returned as our speaker, focussing on “Warding off Winter Weight Gain”.  Even those people who were experienced on the subject were inspired by the information and the grace with which it was presented.  Of particular interest was the fact that increasing protein intake to 30% from the typical 15% allows one to cut daily calorie intake by 440, enough to lose almost a pound a week without hunger.  Many more tips were shared and summarized on a handout which will be on our webpage when it is ready.

10 year old Charlotte Ross with the centrepiece she won through the raffle.  Centrepiece donated by Denise Burnham from the Hive in Carp.

10 year old Charlotte Ross with the centrepiece she won through the raffle. Centrepiece donated by Denise Burnham from the Hive in Carp.

The children seemed to have a blast, doing art, making us a suggestion box and generally having a good time.  It was lovely to see how helpful they were.

We raffled off a Biotron food sensitivity test from the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic worth $125, won by Jim Dowling, who promptly donated his prize to friend Chuck Burnham.  Denise Burnham, who runs the Hive in Carp graciously created a gorgeous flower arrangement with roses in a birch bark container that was raffled off and won by 10 year old Charlotte Ross.  Note: Denise is offering one of her spaces, The Gathering Room, at the Hive for rent by donation for people who would like to offer classes or services by donation.  Check www.thehiveincarp.com for details over the coming weeks.

Denise Burnham from the Hive in Carp.

Denise Burnham from the Hive in Carp.

After dinner, people enthusiastically stayed to help clean up (thanks especially to Doug, Tanya and Jessica) so that we turned the lights off in less than an hour after we finished dinner.  In all thirty-one people were fed and we raised $305.95 and many boxes of food for the food bank, including six flats of potatoes and onions from Acorn Creek—thank you Andy!

A nice surprise happened when key volunteer Doug McKinlay contacted a woman to buy some china to use instead of paper plates.  When she heard what was being done, she donated the three whole sets!  We appreciate your big heart Mrs Francine Montpetit.

Our next dinner will be Sunday, February 23 from 4:30 to 6pm at the Carp Memorial Hall.  People can RSVP and/or volunteer at 613-839-2224 or carpdinnerRSVP@gmail.com.  We look forward to seeing you!  Students are welcome to gain community hours by helping before and after the dinner—and get a tasty meal in the process. Finally, we will soon have a webpage to store all the recipes, talk handouts and the food guidelines we use in choosing the dishes.