Hema, Mo, Nicky at CERES Fair Food

Mo smiles again

Early last Sunday evening Fair Food launched an appeal to raise $14,000 for our friend and workmate, Mo Nabaie. 

Just before the first lockdown Mo had lost three front teeth and badly damaged his hard palate in a bike accident. Over winter despite being in pain Mo continued to run the Fair Food packing line right through our busiest ever period.

We figured even if half the target was raised it might go some way toward paying for the two hard palate operations and replacing the cheap temporary denture we saw Mo struggling with.

We needn’t have worried – from the minute the campaign went out it was clear our community was going to make sure Mo would smile again.

At around 8.30pm on Sunday when Mo finally checked the flurry of messages on the Fair Food WhatsApp group and saw $7000 had been raised to pay for his new teeth, he cried in disbelief.

By the time Mo went to bed at 11pm the appeal had reached $11,000.

He couldn’t sleep.

The next day Mo was woken by Matthew, a Fair Food driver, banging on his door.  Exhausted he’d slept through his usual 4.30am alarm.

Mo came to work completely overwhelmed. As important as the money was, it was actually the outpouring of care from people he’d never met that threw him.

Complete strangers from his adopted country, which at times had seemed out-and-out hostile to his presence as an asylum seeker, were literally helping him up after his fall.

By 8am that morning, a little over twelve hours since the launch, the $14,000 target was reached.

Soon after Mo sent this message…

“Thank you so much to everyone of you and every individual who donated for me. I feel very lucky to have a family like you guys.”

As of today 249 people have donated and sent numerous messages of support to Mo.

After his mouth recovers from the hard palate operations Mo is scheduled to get his permanent teeth implanted in February.

We’ll keep you updated on his progress : – )

Joe's Garden amaranth

Everybody’s spinach

I once met John, a Jamaican living in Toronto, who told me of his arduous quest to find callaloo seeds so he could cook the famous West Indian dish known by the same name.

After many years of hunting John finally happened upon a supplier of his beloved callaloo seed.

Intrigued to see the mystical plant we trouped down to John’s plot.  But on arriving instead of surprise, I smiled in recognition.

Here was the familiar low leafy stand of bright green amaranth that Coburg market gardener, Joe Garita, introduced me to as Indian spinach.  

It turned out that everyone has a callaloo; in Southern India it’s thotakura, Indonesians call theirs bayam, Greece has veleta, the Lebanese etayfe, Kenyans, dodo, while Brazilians and Filipinos have caruru and kalunay

Callaloo, whichis sautéed callaloo leaves with tomatoes, onion, scallions and peppers,wasfirst made by West African slaves who combined traditional recipes with local ingredients.  Most Carribean islands have their own versions.

This week if you’d like to make your own callaloo, Joe’s Garden are harvesting bunches of amaranth which you can find in the webshop and also in the Good Gut Box.

Have a great week 

Chris

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