Nancie McLeod
Nancie McLeod

When Nancie McLeod opened her front door one afternoon in mid-November, she discovered a mystery gift of homegrown squash. “With friendly neighbours all around her, it didn’t take long to discover the identify of her fairy gourd mother,” says Sutton Group in a news release.

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McLeod, a salesperson and designer with Sutton Group Old Mill Realty in Toronto, used the squash to make soup and discovered she had plenty to share, especially when the gardener offered to drop off more. She ramped up production and delivered 21 jars of nutritious, delicious soup to seniors and their caregivers.

“During the holiday season, as it gets colder and darker outside, it can be a particularly lonely time for many, especially seniors who live alone,” says McLeod. “I decided that my project – dubbed Soup with a Smile – would be the perfect way to warm them up. So, off I went with my jars of soup.”

Every weekend for five weeks, she donned a mask, sanitized and visited her senior neighbours with jars of soup. “I made sure to only visit people I knew so they would be comfortable opening their doors to me and accepting the homemade gift. Door knocking never felt so good.”

McLeod posted pictures on social media to tell friends and family what she was doing in hopes that it might inspire them to do the same. “The more soup and smiles out there the better. I heard from a friend in London who delivered to her community. Here in Etobicoke, a friend cooked five different types of soup and delivered jars to the same three seniors on his street.”

Just days before Christmas, McLeod put her soup-making project on simmer; however, she notes, “Who knows what will happen in January? It will be cold and dark, and Soup with a Smile may just come back online.”

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