Thank you to everyone who participated in Give At Home MN: Ignite Generosity and Grow Giving last week! With your support, we were able to raise $2,105 and won a $2,500 prize. This brought us incredibly close to our goal of $5,000! We are deeply thankful to you, our community, for lifting us up in this time.
Missed the campaign? It’s not too late! Go to our donation page at…/All-Saints-Indian-Mission-1

As a compilation of all the stories from our team during Give at Home MN, enjoy all their reflections together here:

Fr Bob:
We began serving our weekly indigenous, organic meals in November of 2008 and had not missed a meal until April 2020. In March we made quick and extensive changes by serving to go meals outside, meeting to the best of our ability the imperative safety guidelines. While we made the heart-wrenching decision to suspend our meals for April and May, our team is actively gathering (via Zoom), discerning how we can best step back into helping our increasingly food insecure communities responsibly and sustainably, especially during this pandemic. We recognize that our guests are “living on the edge” in a way that this crisis grotesquely showcases and that other food options may not be available to them. First Nations Kitchen and I hope that our world changes for the better and supports all its relations through and beyond COVID-19.

No one alive today has been through something exactly like this before. We are all learning through this experience no matter how hard it is. I try to remind myself to comfort not control: just try and deal with the day-to-day, week-to-week changes. I also look to find the silver linings.

What makes First Nations Kitchen unique is the connection between the Native American people and the land. We have a strong spiritual connection to the land, for example, Mother Earth and the Four Directions. The First Nations Kitchen is supporting that connection which has been passed down through generations. We want to retain as many of the cultural traditions as possible.
Continuing to serve our meal was not possible for us during the COVID-19 pandemic, so I am deeply thankful to those who are giving out food in this time. I am seeing, now, all the things we have taken for granted before the pandemic, I am very thankful and grateful for what I have.

This is the first time in more than 11 years that we haven’t served a meal every Sunday. Since we had such a wonderful track record, I’m assuming this is a hiatus. Following the Governor’s protocols to close was a difficult choice to make, but a necessary one. I miss the Saturday veggie runs, the volunteers and guests, and serving on Sundays, when I was able. I hope that even though we are not able to fulfill our mission during COVID-19, our guests are able to get the resources they need.

Many of us have been discerning what love and care look like right now. We are considering, as well, how we want to live together with love and care, after the virus subsides or a vaccine arrives. First Nations Kitchen, with its mission of radical hospitality, food justice, and environmental sustainability, offers a beautiful vision of love in action, care, and life together. I hope that, as a community, we will come to live more fully into visions such as this one.

With nearly 11 1/2 years of cooking and serving healthy meals, First Nations Kitchen has a bright and steady presence in the community. At the core of First Nations Kitchen is our warm welcoming and the sharing of delicious, indigenous food. We believe in practicing care and acceptance among our guests, our volunteers and ourselves. In a time of growing isolation, we try to go beyond ourselves to build trust and seek solidarity. Our desire is to intentionally, continually and creatively form community. All are welcome at the table.

It is hard for me to feel so disconnected from my community. I miss visiting with friends, neighbors, and family–especially my grandchildren. I spend a lot of time on the phone to stay connected and up to date, but it doesn’t replace in person quality time. I am thankful for the doctors who still support myself and my family. I look forward to the time that we can start serving meals again since I miss the community and I know our other guests do too.