By Katherine Michaud Smith, Creative Services Program Manager, Goodwill Industries International
Myles Anton, executive chef and owner of The Franklin and Trattoria Stella in Traverse City, MI, found himself with an abundance of fresh produce and free time when restaurants across the state closed due to the public health crisis.
That’s when he showed up at the doors of the Goodwill Inn, his arms full with food he couldn’t serve in his restaurants and his heart full with a desire to volunteer. He enjoys the challenge of creating new menus daily based on whatever food is available each day. He says volunteering in the Goodwill kitchen has given him a sense of freedom, as he isn’t constrained by menus, and no one sends their food back.
“It’s really cool, especially the way they just say ‘go for it,'” Anton says. “Just make good food and feed people.”
Run by Goodwill Northern Michigan, the Goodwill Inn is an emergency shelter that serves 6,000 meals to its community every week. The inn also provides emergency and transitional housing as well as essentials for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in northern Michigan. While they transition to permanent housing, residents receive employment and job-related services from Goodwill Northern Michigan.
In addition to keeping Traverse City’s families fed, Goodwill Inn accepts food and financial donations, and the organization is seeking additional volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out an application.
Goodwill Northern Michigan is also accepting donations of critically needed medical supplies at its South Airport Road store.