2022 has been a year of adjustment. I suppose every year since “The Virus” entered our lives has required resourceful thinking and creative planning. We at EMM have been trucking through, at times crawling, to make sure no Edmond homebound senior goes without food. There have been moments when I thought I couldn’t keep doing it, specifically around the time my grandmother died. Her legacy of cooking had become quite a heavy burden to bear, I didn’t know if I wanted to even try anymore. Yet I still kept cooking…we had people to feed. It’s interesting how even in death, I still don’t want to waste the talent she left me.
Even while I had huge personal changes happening, we as an organization saw major shifts beginning. Our numbers started skyrocketing, we began to see a boost in volunteers as well as community involvement and familiarity with our program. Our equipment began to groan under the weight of it all. We started changing how we do our kitchen processes and utilizing our newer volunteers in different ways. We even got a kitchen intern who is a nutrition student from UCO. We could teach a class on the art of adjusting within a nonprofit organization. The office chant became “Pivot!”
I’ve been reaching into the old recipe books of EMM for even more comfort food ideas, preparing to bring back some favorites for 2023. This requires some ingredient conversions and meal costing for our higher numbers. We’ve also formed a committee of volunteers to become my advisory board to make sure we do what’s best in the kitchen for our clients. We’re trying to keep our quality, but also prepare for the future growth of EMM.
Recently, we discovered that we are going to have to undergo major changes to our building and organization in order to prepare for more booms in meal needs. It will be a grand undertaking, but I think we’re ready. We have a strong enough team that we can brainstorm and figure things out together. We joke and laugh through the good days. We stand together through the tough moments. Our team of three is small, but mighty. We may have to add to the team sometime in the near future, but for now, we are setting a foundation for more than just the next five years of EMM, but onward.