by Jessie Ammons
photograph by Nick Pironio
Outsource your Thanksgiving pie-making to some of Raleigh’s best bakers and chefs, and do some good at the same time with Alliance Medical Ministry and StepUp Ministry’s Share the Pie fundraiser.
This clever take on a bake sale allows folks to order chocolate, pecan, or pumpkin pie online in advance, then pick those pies up the week of Thanksgiving at five pick-up locations that span the area.
Ordering means entering the “pie lottery,” as Alliance Medical Ministry executive director Megg Rader puts it: You won’t know who created your pie until you open the box. With a few dozen pies each from several top local chefs, including 18 Seaboard chef/owner Jason Smith, In Good Taste cooking school director Julie Gilbert, and Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Cafe owner/baker Helen Pfann, the odds are pretty sweet.
All proceeds go to both nonprofits. Alliance Medical Ministry provides the uninsured with access to affordable healthcare, and StepUp Ministry provides the unemployed with professional training and resources.
StepUp executive director Linda Nunnallee says that the two organizations are different slices of the same pie. “We’re trying to alleviate two completely different barriers that the same population face,” she says. Rader agrees, calling the organizations’ missions “interconnected pieces if you’re looking at community health.”
In a season jam-packed with gatherings and galas, this is a way to give back to the community “without getting dressed up or buying a ticket,” Rader says. Hopefully, it will make dessert taste that much better. “It’s such a sweet way to think about spending time over pie with your family,” Nunnallee says, “and now there’s another added layer of meaning.”