Floret Daniels creates a home-cooked buffet for LPD
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.
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.