At Western Reserve Academy, our FLIK dining staff is part of the heartbeat of the school, feeding students and faculty every day. Led by Chef Eddie Mundy, the team knows the community person by person, and has made it a mission to feed and care for them with passion and flair. Last year, Edible Cleveland magazine profiled the team and its sophisticated culinary skills, describing the WRA dining hall as more restaurant than cafeteria.
So when the Coronavirus health crisis in the U.S. precipitated the closure of WRA's on-campus services for the remainder of the school year, school administrators had a valuable resource to protect: its beloved chefs. As restaurants around the country are forced to lay off employees, WRA knew it wanted to avoid this outcome by working creatively to find new roles for its talented dining hall team.
In the pioneering spirit of the school, today WRA launches a new initiative, "Reserve Your Meal," that will keep Mundy and his team cooking and, in the process, endeavor to deliver comfort and joy to Hudson residents during this tenuous time. The school believes the whole community deserves the comfort of home cooking — and a break from typical take-out — during the COVID-19 crisis.
"During this very difficult time, nothing makes us happier than keeping our team employed and providing service to the community of Hudson, which we love," said Head of School Suzanne Walker Buck. "Eddie and his team bring joy to our school community every day, and we can't wait to spread a little of this beyond our campus, through the great unifier of food."
The order form is available on WRA.net/reserveyourmeal. Any member of the Hudson community, up to 50 households each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, can request a free homestyle dinner that serves four people. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mundy and his team will package meals for CLE Family Meal in Cleveland and Haven of Rest in Akron.
Mundy, no stranger to generosity having served the WRA community thousands of meals and in his personal life being a foster parent to nine children, says the opportunity to keep his team engaged while providing a community service is deeply fulfilling.
"The WRA community is a family to me and my team," said Mundy. "In times of great challenge, family members pull together to support each other and — at best — look beyond themselves and help others. I'm so proud to be a part of this effort and can't wait to serve and deliver delicious, thoughtful and locally sourced dinners to members of the Hudson community that is our beautiful home."
Mundy said a sample meal is Baked Mac & Cheese w/ Crispy Herb Panko Topping, Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Tenders, Triple Pea & Asparagus Salad with Feta Mint Dressing. Meals and sign up forms for delivery will be posted on WRA.net and shared via the school's Facebook page. A bonus in each package will be games and facts, delivered alongside the meals in the spirit of community and learning, the cornerstones of the school.