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Feed Me Love fills hearts and stomachs of COVID-19 local heros

Erin Kimble and AJ Johnston

By Andrea Harrison
Sometimes in a pandemic you need a little good news. Sometimes in a pandemic you hear a story that fills the heart.

AJ Johnston and Erin Kimble are busy doing both of these things in Prince Edward County. The young couple moved to the County in April of 2018 and are celebrating their second anniversary here by not only purchasing a house in Picton, but also by launching an initiative that is filling the hearts and stomachs of the local heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic champions wearing scrubs at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital are among recipients of Feed Me Love dinners.

Focusing on providing amazing local food to those in need, Feed Me Love was born. More than 250 free meals have been served to people working the front lines, exhausted essential service workers, neighbours, and hospitality workers.

On Sunday nights the couple opens their kitchen and back yard and hands out the take away meals they have lovingly prepared. No rush, socializing with distance. It’s a contactless and comforting experience. Tasty food. So far chilli, ragu, and pulled pork with mac and cheese have been served and somehow there is always a vegan option available too.

Sally Griffin learned of the initiative while at work at Sobeys. Working there and at Rexall she hasn’t had a day off in more than a month, and her gratitude to have a delicious meal to share with her family on Sundays is heartfelt.

“It felt so nice to not have to plan supper for my family … AJ and Erin are two of the nicest people. I think they are the real heroes feeding strangers when they could be enjoying their day.”

Gillian Norton says Feed Me Love is a “nurturing gift in multiple ways. Providing food when some may have none and offering delicious meals that give people something to look forward too.”

It is something that satisfies AJ and Erin as well. AJ calls it “a small gesture of appreciation for the hard-working people of this community”.

A project of this magnitude has a variety of local businesses who have supported Feed Me Love with in-kind donations including Ralph’s Meats, Kaleidoscope, Kinsip Spirits, Mapledale Cheese, Raising a Village- Quinte, La Condesa, The Edward and more.

When asked what inspired the project Erin chuckled “It’s all AJ, he’s my superhero.”

With both working full-time hours at busy jobs, it’s difficult to imagine what motivated either to take on this massive challenge.

Chef AJ Johnston at work creating Feed Me Love dinners.

AJ is a chef and was adamant that he give his skills and time to helping people through this disaster. Erin is a vital member of Feed Me Love who, alongside AJ, acts as sous chef, shops and serves dinners – all with a warm smile and a kind word.

Alongside the companies supporting Feed Me Love, thoughtful individuals are stepping up and contributing financial help. Without that support this project wouldn’t be self-sustaining.

Sarah Thompson, a donor, noted “I thought it was awesome that they were willing to do this! Their kindness and generosity is so much appreciated.”

To help, or to sign up for a meal, AJ and Erin can be reached through feedmelovepec@gmail.com and their adventure can be followed on Instagram @feedmelovepec.

Opportunity first drew AJ and Erin to the County. They have embraced PEC and all that it offers. Now they are staying by choice. In this time of crisis, people are grateful for that decision.

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