by Malcolm Jolley

Jennifer Gittins and Chef Michael Van Den Winkel at Quince Bistro

On Yonge, just south of Eglinton, Quince Bistro is one of GFR’s ‘Certified Good Food Fighters‘. The GFF’s are the community of responsible food and wine businesses and organizations that support GFR financially. Their sponsorship keeps us publishing every week and keeps your GFR ad free, so when co-owner Jennifer Gittins contacted me about a fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack Canada that she was planning at Quince for May 9, I set up an appointment to see her to right away. Excellent, I thought, we’ll put up a post to help sell tickets and do a good deed while practicing a little client relationship management.

As it happens, by the time I met with Gittins in the middle of a busy Monday lunch service, she’d just sold the last table for the event (sorry GFR readers). Not to be deterred, once I’d said hello to her chef, business and life partner Michael Van Den Winkel, Gittins presented me with a coffee at the bar and explained the event anyway.

It turns out Gittins is part of a loose group of friends comprising of three other ladies who pick a charity every year to fund raise for. Her friends hustle to sell tickets and get donations for a silent auction, while she handles to the dinner. The food and wine is donated (thanks to fellow GFF Stratus), and the staff at Quince generously volunteer their time, so every penny of the ticket cost goes right to the charity. When Gittins says the dinner is “our way of giving back”, she truly means the entire restaurant.

Gittins was attracted to Blessings in a Backpack because it seemed to her to high impact: they provide schools in at risk neighbourhoods with a backpack full of food for in need students to take home on Friday nights. “It’s just a backpack, so there’s no stigma”, Gittins explained.

Soon Gittins’ busy restaurant pulled her away from the conversation, and it was time for me to go. Stay tuned for more Good Food Fighter news from Quince, including an after work drinks promotion featuring Indonesian snacks…

Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor at Good Food Revolution and the Executive Director of Good Food Media, the not-for-profit company that publishes it. Follow him at @malcolmjolley.