WINNIPEG — Last month, executive chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther, owner of Feast Café Bistro from Peguis First Nation and Board member of Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN) launched Indigenous Feast Boxes, a fundraising campaign designed to support Indigenous chefs across Canada and their teams by providing precious meal kits to Indigenous families and community members in need this holiday season.
“Giving back to our communities includes supporting staff and securing overall future success. This fundraising campaign is a way to secure jobs but also support families, elders, people with health risks and the larger community as a whole. It’s a win-win all around,” says Bruneau-Guenther. “The holidays can be hard financially, but they are also a time of warmth and giving. We have set a $60,000 goal to ensure Indigenous families across Canada get a healthy warm meal over the holiday season. The chefs will share ingredients and recipes for all to enjoy.”
This campaign was shared via GoFundMe and ICAN enlisted the support of a roster of talented Indigenous chefs and restaurants from across Canada. Using local ingredients and inspiring the box’s contents by their Indigenous heritage and contemporary flair, each chef created Indigenous Feast Boxes valued at a minimum of $5 each for a family or group of four to six people. Families received boxes partially or fully prepared with recipes and cooking instructions detailing the significance of the ingredients chosen that reflect their unique culture and personality. The chefs handpicked local Indigenous community groups to distribute the Feast Boxes to those most in need.
“These are truly unprecedented times for our Indigenous brothers and sisters and ICAN is very pleased to be in a position to lead such an important campaign to provide much needed assistance,” says Joseph Shawana, ICAN Board Chair. “When COVID-19 hit and all our Taste of the Nations events got cancelled, we decided to re-direct those efforts by funding $25,000 for the creation and distribution of Indigenous Feast Boxes. We are very proud that we can continue to share our stories and meals through this campaign.”