You have three more chances to eat a free meal on Sunday mornings this winter.
WabiSabi will host three more Hands Up Sunday brunches between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each Sunday from now until Feb. 10.
“Everyone is invited,” said Mandy Turner, WabiSabi program director.
This is the seventh year WabiSabi has offered Sunday brunches.
“The reason we do the brunches is to create community,” Turner said. “In the winter when so many people are laid off and living so far away from their families, it gives a chance for people to come together.”
The volunteer kitchen staff will serve between 100 to 200 people at the Youth Garden Project on 400 East.
“It’s one of the few places someone can come in and sit next to the mayor and executive directors from different groups,” said Ocean DeGraw, WabiSabi’s retail director. “There is a huge variety of people.”
Turner said that there are as many reasons to show up as there are people.
“Offering it for free doesn’t preclude anyone,” Turner said.
There are always pancakes. And what Turner described as the “best cup of coffee you can get for free on a Sunday morning.”
FMC donates the coffee and has an espresso machine to make lattes, americanos, mochas and more.
This year Clark Cross is working in Youth Garden Project’s professional kitchen to make a the Sunday feast each week.
“He’s new to town and wants to help out,” Turner said.
So far he’s made biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, and eggs and potatoes.
These brunches are then served to order by volunteers in the historic Shafer home at Youth Garden Project.
Holly Dinsmore, the WabiSabi Warehouse manager, is the driving force who coordinates volunteer chefs, servers and dishwashers, procures food and orchestrates the meals.
“These brunches are something I look forward to each year,” Dinsmore said. “These brunches are more than a meal; they are shared time between the larger Moab Family.”
Turner said the 15-person volunteer staff is like a small, efficient volunteer army that runs the kitchen for free.
The brunches are a result of a United Way grant and community donations that grow through the season.
The first Hands Up meal of the season is the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Grand Center.
“We turn to our business community for the Thanksgiving meal, and we ask for donations at these events,” Turner said.
The Community Christmas meal is put on completely by Red Cliffs Lodge.
“It’s Charley Every and Colin Fryer and the Red Cliffs kitchen staff,” Turner said. “They buy all the food, they cook all the food and bring it to the Grand Center.”
Five hundred people were served Christmas Day.
“It is an amazing gift they gave this community,” Turner said.
The donations that come from the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners then go to support the six weeks of brunches held in January and February.
“It all works in concert with one another,” Turner said. “It helps balance it all out.”
Another thing that Turner loves about the brunches is that each are held at the Youth Garden Project.
“It gives the community a chance to experience Youth Garden Project,” Turner said. “The kids can play outside; people can walk up and down the late winter rows.”
Sometimes visitors from out of town will call to volunteer.
“It floors people. They think they’re volunteering for a soup kitchen,” Turner said. “It’s fun. It’s warm. There’s no division. They write back and say ‘what you do is amazing.’ It speaks of community – to support one another and get involved.”