Teach healthy living skills to adults with autism

by Community Support Services, Inc.
Vetted
The assembled Grand Opening ribbon
The assembled Grand Opening ribbon

Wednesday morning you could feel the excitement in the air as we put on our brand new uniforms. We bedecked our handcrafted tables with fresh flowers and arranged everything in anticipation. This is the day! We turned on the music opened our doors to the public for our ribbon ceremony as part of our Grand Opening Celebration at That’s a Wrap.

This has been a project five years in the making, ever since we began our Healthy Living Skills initiative and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of so many people, and that’s what our ribbon ceremony symbolized. We don’t believe in building things together, and in that spirit, we assembled a ribbon! We invited key contributors to our project to affix a piece of the ribbon and we spelled out That’s a Wrap: Craig Roberts, who in his role as Director of Recreation has overseen the garden projects, Woody Woodroof of Red Wiggler Farm in Germantown which not only provides fresh organic vegetables to CSS programs but also , Adam Rast our chef who began as our instructor for the healthy living skills cooking program, Nathan Bortnick our realtor at HBW Group, Dr. Michael Greenberg who not only found the available space but provided limitless enthusiasm as we brought this dream to a reality, Steve Karr our favorite architect with invaluable advice, Nancy Corr, our designer with amazing vision and the energy to bring that vision to life with the help of  Sarah Wisseman, Matthew Vargas, Ed Corr and the entire team at OPX Global, and lastly all the employees on the job, eager to serve the public and show off their skills while earning a paycheck. The audience applauded once the ribbon was created and then everyone got to eat!

Other guests came to celebrate with us as well. Taylor Donoghue, from Congressman Delany’s office presented a certificate to our Executive Director, Susan Ingram, recognizing her and CSS for this tremendous accomplishment. Sidney Katz, our local county council representative also said a few words and got the chance to taste some of our delicious food.

In honor of the grand opening, we will offer 10% off all food purchases through the month of April. For those in the DC area it's well worth a trip out for lunch. And, if you missed the event, you can find some pictures of the day here: https://www.thatsawrapdeli.com/grand-opening-album/

the team ready to greet customers
the team ready to greet customers
That
That's a Wrap Logo

If you remember in the autumn, we told you about our exciting new deli project which provides healthy food options and employment for individuals with disabilities. At times it's seemed impossible, however we have We can't believe we're finally open! We're not done yet and will be spending the next few months making final adjustments. However we are open for business! We welcome the public to come in and try our delicious wraps and salads or to pick up a few grocery items to take home. 

This project would not be possible without the wonderful support of our community. From the beginning of our healthy living skills initiative to today, we've found nothing but encouragement. Thanks to you we're able to realize the beginning of this dream.

We're not done yet. There's a lot of work yet to do, but our staff is excited to finally be making wraps and serving customers. If you do live in the DC area, stop by and say hello!

Our new deli is open at: 12158 Darnestown Road Gaithersburg, MD 20878. Our hours are Mon-Sat 9am-4pm. You can have a healthy snack and support an important cause! 

First customer
First customer
food prep
food prep
chipotle wrap
chipotle wrap
planning meeting!
planning meeting!

Exciting news for our Garden to Table program! As a natural outgrowth of our Healthy Living Skills initiative we are opening a deli this autumn! That’s a Wrap! will be serving ready-made healthy foods to take out for snacking, lunch, and dinner. By providing a fun food alternative we’ll be encouraging even more healthy choices when going out to eat in the community.

We’re very passionate about this endeavor. It’s been a dream for years and finally with enough support it’s finally happening! As an added bonus we’ll be providing employment opportunities in our community.

The team is working hard so that everything can be done in time for our Grand Opening in October. Chef Adam is embracing his new role as a Restaurant Manager. Employees have been hired and are eager to start training this month so they can be experts at their job when the deli opens. Many staff and individuals at CSS are looking forward to having a new place to go out to eat. Food is one thing that always brings people together and we’re thrilled to be able to combine our interests in healthy eating and community inclusivity.

Featured menu items will include wraps such as a Southwest Chipotle Chicken Wrap, Green Spinach Wrap and a Chicken “Banh Mi” Wrap and salads both classic and with offerings such as the Vegetable Pad Thai Salad and the Quinoa Salad with Mango and Avocado.

That’s a Wrap! Is a dynamic project combining healthy food products people want with inclusive employment opportunities for people with disabilities. We can’t wait for everyone to come by and try it!

Meanwhile – we aren’t forgetting our other goals – we’ve been bringing in our summer harvests, yesterday three juicy watermelons made their way from garden to the kitchen for everyone to enjoy. Cooking classes are continuing and our new Online Cooking Academy, “What’s for Dinner” culminated its initial program with great success.  Stay tuned for more details on all our programs.

As always, we could not be successful in any of these endeavors without your support. Programs such as these are not covered by traditional funding sources and it’s only through the support of our community that we are able to pursue our goals. Thank you for everything you’ve done and please continue to share our great successes with your friends so we can spread the word. At CSS we always believe that we can do more and together we know that we will!

have to decide where everything needs to go!
have to decide where everything needs to go!
Southwest Chipotle Chicken Wrap, yum!
Southwest Chipotle Chicken Wrap, yum!

Links:

Mitch carries supplies to the garden plot
Mitch carries supplies to the garden plot

Our last frost date behind us (and two more bonus frost warnings last week!) means that we finally get to plant our seedlings in the gardens. We’ve been nurturing them in our greenhouse waiting for the warm weather and now it’s time to really get our hands dirty. This week we’re excited to take our tiny plants out into the sun and give them a chance to really grow. Mitch is happy that the weather is nice and hopes that everything can be planted before the rain in a few days.  

Growing our own vegetables really helps to connect to the food we eat. However, this requires your help. Every year we need some new gardening supplies and we need to replace broken equipment. With your donation we can make sure that our gardening program continues to succeed for another growing season. 

Amir mows down the overgrown garden plot
Amir mows down the overgrown garden plot
Paul rakes up grass and weed clippings
Paul rakes up grass and weed clippings
Matthew loves using the tiller!
Matthew loves using the tiller!

What’s new at CSS?

The LunchBox!

As part of our teaching healthy living skills, we are now offering healthy alternatives for lunchtime purchases. Every weekday, individuals spend the morning preparing foods, learning about why food choices are healthy. They are also building upon their cooking skills and mastering new techniques.

The meals are prepackaged and menus will vary daily and will be a combination of soup, salad and sandwiches. Even the honey mustard is made from scratch and it’s even more fun to learn how to make homemade tomato soup than it is to eat it!

The LunchBox opened for business on Monday, January 26th and everyone is excited to see this new endeavor take off!

Stay tuned for more information as we see this new project develop. 

 

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Organization Information

Community Support Services, Inc.

Location: Gaithersburg, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.css-md.org
Project Leader:
Ashley Chatneuff
Communications Coordinator
Gaithersburg, MD United States
$22,030 raised of $30,000 goal
 
 
251 donations
$7,970 to go
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