King Cakes for a Cause
The Midwest City Mobile Meals program is conducting their annual fundraiser of handmade traditional Mardi Gras KingCakes. The founder of both the program and fundraiser is Jennifer Cameron, who is a New Orleans native. She brought her love of the traditional king cake here with her, and has used it as a delicious way to raise money to help feed elderly residents.
The Mobile Meals program was started by Cameron and other church members in 2010, when it originally opened at the Douglas Boulevard United Methodist Church. When the church had to close 2 years ago, the Mobile Meals program was allowed to stay in the back gym/kitchen building where all of their commercial kitchen equipment was located, up until October of last year
“Now St. Mathews has invited us to share their space, they’ve been so gracious. They have bent over backwards making us feel comfortable here,” said Donna Bassham, another of the Mobile Meals founders. “Actually 12 of our Mobile Meals team members have joined the church since we moved in. I think it was a good deal for us all.”
The Mobile Meals volunteers were able to get all of their commercial kitchen equipment moved into the new space and are currently busy baking King Cakes. The fundraiser started January 1st and continues until Fat Tuesday on March 5th.
“We’ve been doing the king cakes since 2012, to raise money for our program. Mobile Meals only makes it on donations, but because we have something like the king cake fundraiser, we can purchase the food we use to make the meals. We purchase our food through the food bank so we get discounted rates,” explained Cameron. “We try to spread the word so we can make as many cakes as possible and feed as many people as we can on the mobile meals program.”
The cakes come in two sizes, large for $20 and small for $10. There is a new flavor this year, Praline, which joins the list of available flavors including Raisin Pecan, Apple, Cherry, Chocolate with vanilla icing, and Lemon cream cheese, just to name a few. The handmade cakes are decorated with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and purple colored sugars and then adorned with Mardi Gras beads, coins and of course the little plastic baby. The baby is hidden in the cake and the person who ends up with the piece of cake with it is made king or queen of the day.
The Mobile Meals organization serves approximately 120 people a week in the Choctaw, Midwest City, Eastern Oklahoma City, Spencer and Del City areas. They hope to expand to an even larger coverage area, but they need more volunteers for that to happen.
“Since the move, people aren’t really aware that we are still here, so we rely a lot on just word of mouth. Our volunteers can do several different things. Some just do the driving and the delivering and some come in and cook and prepare the meals, because it’s all homemade. We have a group that prepares the side dishes, desserts and bread which a lot of the time are premade. Then we have groups that put the meals all together,” said Cameron.
The organization delivers hot meals on Tuesdays and Fridays, also delivering a bag of nonperishable food items with the Friday meal to help cover the weekend. The hot meals are enough to be split into 2 meals for the residents, which covers 4 hot meals during the week for the elderly residents.
“We are serving people that have been forgotten. These are senior citizens that no longer have any children at home but they want to stay independent, they don’t want to go to a nursing home. Our volunteers offer friendship and time, they get to know the residents and pay attention and care about them,” said Bassham. “It is a much needed program and we do hope to expand the program to a greater part of Eastern Oklahoma County.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the Mobile Meals program you can contact Cameron at 405.795.4530 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use that same contact information to place your king cake orders.
“To volunteer they would just call or email us and we will gladly work with them with whatever they want to do. Our service also counts towards community service hours for different classes and organizations,” said Cameron.
Don’t miss out on your chance this year to have an authentic handmade king cake, order one today.