Aprons, welcoming smiles and soup ladles

Lunch with Friends, a popular weekly Three Hills event, celebrated their first anniversary, from the left, Three Hills Mayor Ray Wildeman, Program Director Danny Gascon, Carol Dobson, food services and co-founder Micaela Brietzke are primed to cut the cakes. ECA Review/D. Nadeau
Written by ECA Review

Lunch with Friends, a popular weekly Three Hills event, celebrated their first anniversary, from the left, Three Hills Mayor Ray Wildeman, Program Director Danny Gascon, Carol Dobson, food services and co-founder Micaela Brietzke are primed to cut the cakes. ECA Review/D. Nadeau

It started a year ago with a handful of volunteers who bought into Micaela Brietzke’s idea of a no-cost weekly community lunch.

That Community Connections program grew, not only in community acceptance, but to what Three Hills enjoys today: Lunch with Friends, a no-cost weekly community lunch with over 20 volunteers and more than 100 guests enjoying a bowl of stew or soup, a bun, and maybe a cookie or two.

Today’s prime maker and shaker, Danny Gascon, describes the program equally in terms of nutritious food and an opportunity to meet old friends and make new connections.

“It’s not a soup kitchen,” explains project leader Gascon. “Any person or family is welcome to enjoy a safe place for a good meal. It meets a real need, especially after COVID.”

Lunch with Friends enjoys the support of the Town of Three Hills as they provide at no charge use of the Community Center, a $10,000 contribution from the Alberta Government’s COVID Food Relief Program, and a steady stream of smaller donations that “go a long way to keeping us sustainable”, as Gascon puts it.

Well-poised to enter a second year of service with their own kitchen equipment, freezer, and food supply, Gascon said he and his team look forward to serving more lunches to more and more guests who enjoy having a lunch with friends.

“It’s  wonderful,” Gascon admits, “to hear the room full of chatter and laughter.”

David Nadeau
ECA Review

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ECA Review