As some families wonder what’s for dinner, other families in Hay River will get a chance to put a meal together courtesy of the Tree House Drop-In Centre.

The facility will once again run its take-and-make meal program. The project started in 2020 and happens once or twice per year, according to Genevieve Clarke, the centre’s program co-ordinator.

She said the program provides 10 to 12 meal kits per week and each meal kit contains enough food to feed a family of up to six people.

Each week, there is a different menu and Clarke said there are criteria each meal must meet before being distributed.

“Menus we pick must have a link to an instructional video, have ingredients readily available in our community at a reasonable price, be reasonably easy to assemble and feed a family of six,” she said.

The first menu will be given out on April 14 and it’s Crazy Busy Momma’s Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

According to the centre’s Facebook page, the first week’s pick-up is full, but there is still room to register for the second pick-up on April 21.

Clarke said menus have been adjusted in the past in order to fit dietary needs within budgetary parameters, and, in the past, if there was a little extra funding to be spent, there was a special recipe.

“We made a slow-cooker recipe and we provided slow-cookers to clients that did not have any,” she said.

Once a family completes their meal, the centre asks for a picture to be taken to show how things went.

Clarke said that’s all part of the feedback, which has been fantastic.

“It’s great to see the way some (families) tweak recipes to their taste,” she said.

The centre has been operating since 2002 and offers free programming to parents and caregivers of children up to the age of six.

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