It started at Aspira Lynde Creek Gardens as a compassionate gesture for Thanksgiving. Today it is slowly blossoming into a new Sienna tradition known as Sienna Supper. Aspira Douglas Crossing and Traditions of Durham followed the example set by Lynde Creek Gardens and the trio of residences teamed up with Meals on Wheels provider Community Care Durham for Family Day to feed those who find it hard to feed themselves.
Fast forward to Easter and this worthwhile operation has expanded to seven Aspira residences. Ottawa residences Aspira Red Oak and Bearbrook have joined the good cause as well as Aspira Pacifica and Aspira Peninsula in British Columbia. Preparing dinners for more than 300 Meals on Wheels clients along with Second Harvest charities in Ontario's Durham Region.
How it works
Sienna Supper is a program developed by the Sienna for Seniors Foundation to provide hot and healthy meals to seniors and others in our communities across Canada. The culinary teams at the residences involved order extra ingredients for certain special occasions. The chefs involved create a unique menu they all can replicate and individually package at each residence for a local charity or Meals on Wheels provider to distribute. The end result is an elderly person with physical and/or cognitive health challenges - or just someone in need - receiving a hot meal at their door.
“If you’re not passionate about it, it doesn’t fly,” said chef Michael Stewart who was in charge of the very first Sienna Supper run at Lynde Creek Gardens. Michael was approached by his manager to test out the idea and he immediately embraced it. Coming from a poor family himself, Chef Michael jumped at the chance to be involved with Sienna Suppers. “I will champion this,” he said when first asked by his manager. “I know what it is like (to be in need). We want to give them the best (food), it shows that we care,” he added. “It makes you feel good inside.”
In BC, Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels is taking care of the distribution end while in Ottawa, Red Oak has help from the Meals on Wheels at Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre and Bearbrook’s Meals on Wheels help comes from Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre. Another organization chipping in is Second Harvest which - through its incredible app - helps Sienna connect more directly with local charities and not-for-profits who could benefit from our Sienna Supper meals.
The Sienna for Seniors Foundation is working hard to expand Sienna Supper even further in the coming months. Cultivating happiness in daily life is our goal inside, and outside, our residences.