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A taste of Belize for Lansing police

Floret Daniels creates a home-cooked buffet for LPD

Lansing resident Floret Daniels is originally from Belize, and she loves cooking. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 7, 2020) – “It’s always been in my heart to try and help,” says Floret Daniels, recalling her childhood home in Belize and her mother’s example of generosity and hospitality. Now sheltering in place in her Lansing home, Daniels wanted to find a way to help the people who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

She started with the Lansing Police Department. A phone conversation with Deputy Chief Steve Roberts gave her an estimate of how many officers are on duty during a typical day, so she could begin shopping for ingredients to make a traditional Belizean meal for 25–30 people.

Preparing that quantity of food is not a problem for Daniels—she often caters for friends and family events. But the cost of that much chicken, beans, rice, and pastries is significant. So Daniels was grateful for the help she received from the Munster, Indiana, Strack & Van Til in the form of a gift card. She bought the main ingredients there, and did the cooking at home where she could add authentic Belizean spices like recado, which is made from the seeds of a fruit native to Belize. Recado is so essential to Belizean cooking that Daniels brings a supply back to Lansing with her any time she visits Belize.

The Lansing Police Department is closed to non-essential personnel, so when her friend Sharon Pluard drove her to the station at noon on Monday, April 6, Daniels called Roberts from the parking lot. Roberts and Lt. Scott Bailey came out to receive the meal—a large aluminum pan of red beans and rice, another large aluminum pan of stew chicken, a bowl of cole slaw, a tray of pastries, and two 12-packs of Pepsi.

Deputy Chief Steve Roberts (right) rolls a cart over so Floret Daniels (center) and Sharon Pluard (left) can begin unpacking the trunk. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Floret Daniels begins by unloading a tray of pastries she purchased for the Lansing Police Department. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Stew chicken is a traditional main course in Belize. Floret Daniels prepared “about 60” pieces for the Lansing Police Department. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
With the cart loaded up, Deputy Chief Roberts expresses gratitude to Floret Daniels on behalf of the Lansing Police Department. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Daniels is hoping to offer a similar meal to the Lansing Fire Department next—she has the time and the skill, but she can’t afford to purchase the ingredients on her own. “It’s always been in my heart to try and help,” she says, so she will keep looking for ways to make a difference.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Such a kind thing to do! Flo and Sharon have such big hearts! Flo’s Belizean chicken is amazing! So glad that the officers were treated to it!

  2. I would love to donate money so that Floret Danials can provide a similar meal for the Lansing fire department. How can I get a donation to her?

    • That’s very kind of you, Bev. I forwarded your email address to Floret and let her know about your interest.

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