“Prepared with love.” That’s how Colette, head chef at ColMoni’s Catering, likes to describe her food. Colette’s company, along with Ladi’s Catering, is providing food for food-insecure seniors this Thanksgiving. On November 22nd, they’re supporting Food for Others and Meals on Wheels’ mission to alleviate hunger.
Through a first-time emergency food provider collaboration led by Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, Meals on Wheels and Food for Others are serving 296 food-insecure seniors in Annandale, Fairfax, Falls Church, Mclean, Vienna, and Alexandria. The program will provide seniors with prepared Thanksgiving meals as well as grocery items. Food for Others will be purchasing the meals from ColMoni’s Catering and Ladi’s Catering.
Seniors are an underserved population among the food insecure. Many popular items donated to food banks, like mac and cheese and canned beans, are easily suitable for kids and families. However, these items often don’t suit the health or caloric needs of older populations. Canned soup and other canned items typically are high in sodium which can have negative consequences for people with health issues.
Colette started ColMoni’s Catering in 2015. She started her company after working in accounting for 20 years. Ultimately, she decided to leave the corporate world “because [she] wanted to do something [she] was passionate about.” ColMoni’s Catering offers a catered meals service and provides meal preparation for interested families. During COVID-19, Colette’s business struggled for the first two months until clients for her prepared meals picked up again.
She became involved with Meals on Wheels and Food for Others through Frontier Kitchen. Frontier Kitchen is a shared kitchen space for many local catering companies. She first offered her services to the nonprofit world in April of 2020. She signed up to serve food to neighbors in need through Fairfax Food Council. With the council, she noticed she primarily served Black and Brown communities. She was thrilled to get involved with nonprofit work again when Food for Others reached out to Frontier Kitchen to prepare Thanksgiving meals. This year she’ll be making 211 meals. Each meal will include sliced turkey, potatoes, gravy, a dinner roll, and a slice of pie. She explained that “[her] main focus is to be of service to people,” so cooking for Thanksgiving was a fitting opportunity for her.
Ladi’s Catering similarly decided to participate in the Thanksgiving meal program after hearing about the opportunity from Frontier Kitchen. Abi founded Ladi’s catering in 2018. She “always knew [she] wanted to do something with food,” so she left her job in engineering and went to culinary school. While at school, she realized she enjoyed the independence of catering. Ladi’s began with personalized meals for families then, in 2019, ventured into office catering. Abi’s favorite thing to cook is her mango coconut sheet cake in individual jars. For Thanksgiving, she’s making sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and sweet potato cakes. Abi is a longtime supporter of community volunteer efforts. She spent many years volunteering at a shelter with her church. She saw the benefit of volunteering firsthand, and she knew she wanted her company to benefit the local community. She’s thrilled by this opportunity to “help people using [her] talents.”
Food for Others is proud to support Black-owned businesses for Thanksgiving meals and looks forward to making the holiday brighter for food-insecure seniors in our community.