Marian Staresinic, Vice President at Branding and Buzzing
, writes about her food hero, her dad Anton, and why she is supporting Community Food Centres Canada this holiday season.
1. Who is your food hero?
My dad, Anton, who immigrated to Canada from Croatia as a young man speaking no English. Today, he has raised five children and is proud Dida to seven grandchildren he adores. He is our family’s hero and also #myfoodhero.
2. How does he show he cares through food?
My father has been growing vegetables for as long as I can remember. We were blessed; our meals were always home-cooked and made from whatever was in our garden at the time. Fresh meals ranged from tomato sandwiches to string bean soups to cabbage rolls. He taught us to understand where our food comes from and that by caring for our food, we learn to appreciate it more. To this day, he continues to garden and shares his harvest throughout the summer months with his neighbours and friends. I know how much pleasure he gets from feeding others.
3. What's your fondest food memory of him?
There are so many, but if I have to pick one, it’s those times we would make blood pudding sausages together as a family. Every year around the same time, my dad would gather us and teach us how to grind the meat, fill the casings and twirl to link. For most 10-year old kids, this would be far from a fun time, and I was no different. It wasn’t until years later that I realized it wasn’t a celebrity chef or my chef instructor that inspired me but my father. It was those early memories and understanding how we go from farm to table that really brought gratitude to #myfoodhero.
4. Why is it important for you to support an organization that uses food as a tool to increase physical and mental health + community belonging? What about this approach resonates with you?
In my late twenties, I landed a position as a secondary school educator. It didn’t take long for me to revamp the student cafeteria menus and introduce them to healthy meal options while delivering the Ontario Foodservice and Hospitality curriculum. My passion and philosophy towards food education has not wavered and organizations such as Community Food Centres are invaluable to communities everywhere.
Thanks to Marian for making a donation to the #myfoodhero campaign, which supports Community Food Centres Canada to offer empowering food programs that build better health, skills, and belonging in the communities that need it most. Join Marian by making a donation today!