Lanesboro B&B's 'Eat for Equity' meal was the message
LANESBORO — At a former Lanesboro bed and breakfast on Saturday, the meal was the message. Volunteers on Friday and Saturday worked in the kitchen of Peggy Hanson and Frank Wright's home to make supper for about 70 people. (See the accompanying...
LANESBORO — At a former Lanesboro bed and breakfast on Saturday, the meal was the message.
Volunteers on Friday and Saturday worked in the kitchen of Peggy Hanson and Frank Wright's home to make supper for about 70 people. The meal raised about $2,000 for Lanesboro Local, which works to connect local food growers with buyers, said Loni Kemp, of rural Canton, who helped coordinate the group.
But the meal went well beyond food.
The intent was to bring people together for conversation and to learn that they can buy local foods, said Laura Nethercut, Kemp's daughter, who now lives in the Twin Cities. The meal was Lanesboro's second for Eat for Equity, a movement her friend, Emily Torgrimson, who also grew up in Fillmore County, began in Boston.
Torgrimson hosted a dinner to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and thought it was so great to see people meeting to help others, and help themselves with conversation that she started the movement. There are now monthly meals in the Twin Cities, attracting a few hundred people.
"People want to do good," Nethercut said.
And they love talking with others.
"A lot of it (the meal) is community-building," she said. "People are hungry for community, people are looking for a more substantial connection … that they are somehow contributing to equity in the world."
As she explained the history and reason for Eat for Equity, she could smell cornbread, mixed up by Enid Dunn, of Lanesboro, baking.
"Everything smells amazing," Nethercut said.
When the three pans were taken out, several pans of chicken pot pies were put into the oven.
The pies were part of the message, said Heidi Dybing, one of the volunteers who was having a blast preparing the meal Saturday afternoon.
Pies contained organic, free-range chickens raised locally, sweet potatoes and other ingredients, all local.
The salad was the same, she said as she made it, or at least nearly all of it. The arugula had to be bought, but the pea sprouts came from Liz Belina's geothermal greenhouse near Peterson, sweet potatoes from Joni Finnegan, of Lanesboro, feta cheese from a family dairy in Wisconsin and walnuts by Wright.
"To me, the message is fellowship around food," she said.
"Well said," Dunn said. "Food is love."
"You can make great food locally," said Patricia Gilmo who did her part by washing pots, pans and utensils. As they eat, people might talk about politics, families, trips they've been on, she said.
It's a "church supper reinvented," Hanson said. "It's fellowship for a good cause."
As Dunn finished cutting the cornbread, the pot pies were baking and the first people began to arrive, eager for a meal before the Butch Thompson concert that night.
Next year, Eat for Equity plans its third meal in Lanesboro, Kemp said, with more locally grown food, more conversation and another cause to help.