GINGELL OCCUPATION: Kitchen manager at Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA)
Can you imagine feeding 185 kids? Inner City Youth Alive’s kitchen manager Brenda Gingell does it every week, and she
couldn’t be happier. “Growing up I can remember
telling my parents, ‘I don’t care what job I do, I just want to be working with kids.’” The kids at ICYA are equally
fond of Brenda, especially 10-year- old Shay Harris who regularly volunteers in the kitchen. “I really love to cook so this is
a great place to come. Brenda is a very nice person to hang around with and she’s like a mom to me,” Harris says. Located in Winnipeg’s William
Whyte neighbourhood, the food served at ICYA is vital to the children and youth attending the school and drop-in; of the 185 kids who receive meals on a weekly basis, 80 per cent they say don’t get enough to eat at home. “I’ve had some kids tell me that if it wasn’t for the food they get here, they wouldn’t eat at all,” Brenda says.
Providing kids with a healthy meal is incredibly important to Brenda. “It’s healthy and nutritious, and a balanced diet,” she says of the food she prepares. She’s become a whiz at hiding
healthy ingredients in meals. For example, she’ll put cranberries in spaghetti sauce and chili, helping ensure donated food doesn’t go to waste. “I make do with everything,” she adds with a smile. It’s a good thing she loves her
work – Brenda regularly puts in 12-hour days. “It makes me feel happy and
that I’ve done something. It makes me proud.”
To find out more, visit icya.ca
8 STORIES OF FOOD THE WINNIPEG FOUNDATION NOURISHING POTENTIAL
HOW TO SNEAK ADDITIONAL HEALTHY INGREDIENTS INTO EVERYDAY FOODS
• Try mixing greens into your smoothie. Try this mix; raw baby spinach, banana, blueberries, non-fat vanilla yogurt and orange juice.
• Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in your ranch dip or as a topping on baked potatoes.
• Add pureed black beans to brownies – no one will be able to tell!
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