A Loving Spoonful

TD launched its annual #TDThanksYou campaign to personally recognize and reward eight outstanding Canadian TD customers whose community contributions have helped to spread optimism to their neighbours without asking for anything in return.

Nominated by TD colleagues, all eight were surprised with personalized thank-you gifts to help support their charitable efforts that have brought smiles to the faces of many members of their communities, delivered with the help of some popular influencers.

One of this year’s #TDThanksYou recipients is A Loving Spoonful’s Executive Director Lisa Martella, nominated by Adrienne Wood, Manager, Community Banking, Pacific Region at TD. Lisa’s Vancouver-based non-profit provides meals to people with HIV/AIDS in her community in a safe, discreet way. 

When contacted by hospitals, local governments and senior centres looking for assistance, Lisa never said no, and even delivered five times more meals than usual this year, despite setbacks due to the pandemic including the cancellation of fundraising events as well as the lack of volunteers. 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa over a video conference and asked her about her background, her role in A Loving Spoonful and what happens on a day-to-day basis within the organization.

Prior to joining A Loving Spoonful (where she has served for 14 years to date), Lisa was the Associate Director of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. 

She’s worked over 20 years in the non-profit sector, helping those in marginalized communities. She’s all about connecting people, whether it’s via word of mouth or social media; both individuals and teams meet regularly to help pack meals to be delivered across the Lower Mainland.

A Loving Spoonful

Plating with a Purpose

At any given time, there are 10,000 healthy meals waiting to be delivered, and I was amazed to learn that A Loving Spoonful even caters to dietary lifestyles. 

With HIV and other illnesses in the picture, meal recipients need healthy food to supplement their medications and treatments. Lisa takes pride in making sure that the people she helps in her community are fed in a healthy manner. 

Becoming A Loving Spoonful recipient is done via a referral program, normally by a doctor or hospital. An intake meeting (whether via phone or in person) ensures that A Loving Spoonful will learn about any special needs or conditions of the recipient. 

And every Tuesday, frozen meals and snack packs are delivered through a volunteer team of dedicated drivers, who generously offer their time, vehicles and gas. 

Volunteers are also given regular routes to help build relationships and more importantly, to learn of any health updates or conditions to be aware of (most of the meals are delivered to self-regulatory organizations and apartments). 

At the start of the pandemic, Lisa’s team worked closely with Vancouver Coastal Health to provide emergency meal support for those living in isolation as well as to deliver meals with safety in mind — for everyone concerned.

According to Lisa, when she learned she would be recognized as part of this year’s #TDThanksYou campaign, she had no idea she would be awarded with $3,000 in gift cards to put towards continuing her work. This will help Lisa to continue to be a driving force of positivity in her community.

A Loving Spoonful

Become a Volunteer

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please visit alovingspoonful.org. There are various volunteer opportunities available, and the meal-packing is arranged in two and a half-hour time slots, both day and evening, to cater to work schedules.

Lisa has some very exciting news on the horizon, so stay tuned as we will share the news when it drops! Be sure to check out #TDThanksYou on social media and visit TD Stories for more inspiring acts of positivity.

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