The very first project that I took part in at the Ronald McDonald House® involved labelling and sealing that week’s batch of frozen meals for the Meals That Mend: Frozen Edition program. Matt, the Executive Chef & Program Coordinator, has done a phenomenal job of providing different meals for different taste buds, and even vegetarian options too.

With each package I placed a sticker with cooking instructions and ingredients on it, so that the information was clear and ready for families to use. I also made sure to place an Edmonton Firefighters Union Local 209 sponsorship seal on it as a stamp of approval, as well as for safety purposes.

While stationed in the kitchen I remained a fly on the wall, witnessing first-hand the sense of community within the House’s walls. It was a very surreal moment for me to see various families all occupying one table, interacting, eating breakfast, and enjoying the little things together.

After completing the labelling, I restocked the freezer at the House and it warmed my heart each time a family took a meal. Each family that I had the chance to speak to raved about Meals That Mend: Frozen Edition, expressing their appreciation for how much of a positive impact it has had on them and how it gives them one less thing to worry about. It provides caregivers a sense of comfort knowing that they will be fed without having to be away from their child’s side.

It was fitting that my last day as a CSL volunteer would be tagging along with Gil to deliver meals to all the Meals That Mend: Frozen Edition partnering hospitals.

Our journey took us to four hospitals in Edmonton. At each location we grabbed the freezer bags filled with frozen meals and took them up to each of the freezers; it was incredible to witness how extremely appreciative the staff members were to be included in such a program. Interacting with them really showed me the impact and importance of these meals in the healing process.

While filling up the freezers, we had some families waiting to jump in and grab some meals emphasizing that this program does not just take care of families at the Ronald McDonald House® but ensures that the meals are available to all families with seriously ill or injured children.

For me it was extremely nice to end my experience full circle, seeing where the meals that I packaged would end up, whom they would help, and how they would impact the journey of each person that enjoyed one.

Learn how you can get involved with Meals That Mend: Frozen Edition.

-Madison Bosch, RMHCNA Community Service Learning Volunteer