Families That Dine Together, Recover Together

Families That Dine Together, Recover Together

This week, a small group of Slow Food WiSE members gathered at Meta House in Milwaukee to serve 50 women and their families a home-cooked dinner. Meta House, a residential treatment program for women struggling with addiction, embraces a holistic approach to recovery that includes a 15-week Celebrating Families (CF) program in which the women share a weekly meal together.

The goal of CF is to create a structured setting where families can unite, engage in conversation with each other, and learn about the importance of nourishing food.

Brooke serves up Greek-style chicken to guests at Meta House.

Brooke serves up Greek-style chicken to guests at Meta House.

Those of you who have interacted with Slow Food WiSE in the past may know our ever-inspiring president, Brooke. After recruiting several volunteers, myself included, she prepared 50-plus Greek-style portions of slow cooked chicken, roasted potatoes, and freshly tossed salad to serve the families. Six of us lined up to dish out to the guests of honor, the brave women and children facing the everyday challenges of recovery from addiction.

Heather, Andrea, and Emilie work the salad and lemonade station during the Meta House meal.

Heather, Andrea, and Emilie work the salad and lemonade station during the Meta House meal.

At Meta House, group leaders are on hand to help facilitate casual dialogue and encourage family discussions. Tent cards with simple conversation starters printed on them are placed at tables. “What is your favorite thing that your family does together?” and “What’s something happy that happened to you since our meal last week?” are some examples. These simple rituals help reconnect loved ones.

As the line began to slow, we watched as the children started to play, the buzz of chatter among the women grew loud, energetic, and positive. The room felt alive with support and camaraderie.

Dining together is truly a blessing not to be forgotten, underestimated, or taken for granted. There’s just something about sharing a homemade meal with family and friends that helps everyone understand each other a little more.

To learn more about how you can help support family meals at Meta House, visit metahouse.org.

To learn more about upcoming Slow Food events and volunteer opportunities, click here, or send us an email at info@slowfoodwise.org.

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