When the Covid-19 pandemic first shut down restaurants and bars, Winnipeg Chef Ben Kramer and his staff were at a standstill. In the blink of an eye, there were no gigs, no events, and no “Dinner for 1200” extravaganzas to cater.
The Exchange District event space and commercial kitchen Kramer works out of, called The Kitchen Sync, sat empty, but the food that fueled these events was still being grown and shipped, and it was starting to pile up.
While hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of restaurant-quality food sat in freezers and fridges, many Winnipeggers struggling to make ends meet went hungry, with the pandemic cutting off many of the resources usually available to them.
As Kramer put it, the hospitality industry is in the business of caring for people through food, so he decided to find a way to ‘Give Back.’
Kramer launched a project he heard about in Toronto called “Made With Love.” The initiative began both in Toronto and in Winnipeg as a partnership with the Community Food Centre of Canada, with the goal of keeping hospitality staff working by putting quality food on the table served with dignity, for those in need.
The “Made With Love” project is now kept afloat by crowd funding.
The concept is threefold: keep hospitality staff employed, cook healthy food for those in need, and keep food producers in business.
Chef Kramer and his staff have prepared more than 15,000 healthy meals so far, with no plans to stop. To help keep the “Made With Love” project going, donations can be made by visiting chefbenkramer.com