Serving up Meals from the Heart

LW service board working at Ronald McDonald houseLouisville Water’s Service Board put their culinary skills to the test in the Ronald McDonald House kitchen on Monday.

Following a tour of the house in the spring, the Service Board unanimously agreed to sign up for the Meals From The Heart with Chef James experience.

Members showed up on Monday eager to cook and serve a meal to the families staying at the house. They put on their aprons and gloves and got to work.

Chef James had all the ingredients waiting for them to prepare his menu for the night: meatball subs on toasted garlic bread, zucchini casserole, grilled asparagus, salad, and cannolis for dessert.

The kitchen was buzzing with activity and smiles. It was a proud moment for Louisville Water Claims Services Representative Sonja Minch, who organized the Service Board project.

LW service board at Ronald McDonald house

“I chose the Ronald McDonald House because I’ve spent hours myself in the hospital as a patient and as a caregiver. Having a good homecooked meal at the end of a very long day meant the world,” Minch shared.

Chef James couldn’t agree more.

“Having a variety of people building that network of support that they (the families) might not have the time to smile or feel like smiling. That’s what a volunteer can be here at the house, be that smiling face and serve a nice hot plate of food to them.”

A quick check in the dining room determined the Louisville Water Service Board got several thumbs up. One guest raved about the zucchini casserole.

LW service board at Ronald McDonald house“It was the best dish, undeniable,” Production Engineering Supervisor Eric Gant said with a grin.

Chef James chuckled that some days, the feedback is humbling.

“You get some of the best criticism you will have in your career from a 5-year-old staying at the Ronald McDonald House.”

But he takes it all in stride.

“I like to take on those challenges and try to build relationships with the families that are here just to accommodate what they might need and to really make a difference in their stay and try to help take one thing off their plate.”

No culinary experience is required to volunteer for Meals From The Heart. Chef James plans the menu based on the group’s ability. The program offers different options for volunteers to cover the meal cost. For more information, contact Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana.