Pasta it Forward
What is your name and what year did you graduate from De La Salle?
Frances Tibollo (DEL 06), founder of the initiative Pasta it Forward.
Student starting in September:
- Eric Newman
Alumni who volunteer with Pasta it Forward:
- Mercedes Tibollo
- Sofia Tibollo
- Terri Blackburn
- Pierina Lio
- Mario Lio
- Juliana Mazza
What is your current field of study/area of work?
How did the idea for your initiative arise?
Pasta it Forward was created in my role as President of the Canadian Italian Heritage Foundation. Pasta it Forward was inspired by the random act of kindness one of my good friends told me about where she bought two trays of lasagna for a mom in need she read about. That family reached out asking for more help, and that is when I offered to buy the next round of meals. After meeting the family, and learning she had shared what I brought her with several other families and seniors in her apartment building I knew something much bigger needed to be done to help so many families who were being stretched a little too thin given these unprecedented times.
I reached out to my friends and clients in the food distribution business and quickly amassed the in-kind donations for our first 5,000 portions of pasta. Since then we have also partnered with several commercial kitchens and food distributors who continue to support us. We also have a go fund me that was created to help raise funds – over $50,000 already raised combined with over $150,000 of in-kind, kitchen and delivery donations!
Our goal with pasta it forward is to serve anyone in need, for whatever the reason from seniors to families to frontline workers. We don’t ask for anything in return, but like the expression “pay it forward” we hope that someday when and if they can they will pay it forward with an act of kindness or service to someone in need. None of this would be possible without the support of my family and friends – especially my parents Michael and Silvana and my siblings Michael and Mercedes.
What has the response been like?
I never expected Pasta it Forward to snowball into the huge project it has now become. We have served over 70,000 meals since March 2020 from Toronto to Ottawa to Manitoulin Island and many many places in between.
On weekends we serve families, and seniors by delivering directly to their homes. Over 200 portions of pasta go out every weekend.
From Monday-Friday we typically schedule deliveries to frontline staff. We have served over 50 frontline institutions including hospitals, police and fire stations, long-term care facilities and grocery store staff thousands of meals per week.
We have also served five entire first nations communities across the province.
We have received a lot of support from different politicians and celebrities including Chef David Rocco who spent an entire day cooking with us, as well as the Premier of Ontario Doug Ford who came on delivery with us one weekend.
How did your experience at Del help inspire your initiative?
My experience at Del definitely had a part in inspiring Pasta it Forward. We were instilled with the value of service to the community, and I live by the saying to whom much is given, much is expected. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to contribute to serving the community in these difficult times.
How can our alumni help support your initiative?
We are always looking for more sponsors and volunteers! If you are interested in making a donation or signing up to volunteer please visit www.pastaitforward.com for more information.
- Fall 2020