Day #28 Gift > Banana Bread for the Homeless

Today I’m making banana bread to take to the women’s shelter in downtown Montreal.

I’ve got the recipe for you below, and I’ve also got a way that YOU can give so I can make MORE than the three I’ve got planned for today.

When I first moved to Montreal five and half years ago, I was searching for a local community shelter where I could do some volunteer work and I found “Chez Doris.” It’s a daytime drop-in place, to get off the street and get inside for meals and company.  I had a tour and was impressed with the sunny inside spaces, the sewing room, the ‘shop’ where visitors can pick out clothes, kitchenware, and bedding. A doctor is onsite once a week to answer questions and check on regulars. The day I was there, a group of women sat around a giant old TV set, all of them knitting.

After I made my first cash donation, a newsletter came in the mail. It was around Christmas, and there was a section in the newsletter listing non-perishable gifts we could drop off: deodorant, toothpaste, socks, winter coats. And baked goods and desserts. Really. Did they want donations of food?

I called Chez Doris and spoke with a lovely bilingual receptionist, who assured me that yes, in fact, they did want food. “Our kitchen is very busy,” she said. “We provide breakfast and lunch to over 70 women every day. If you want to donate something, please bring enough for 50-70 people to share.”

I was single then, and new to the city, and happy for a project. I dedicated several Friday nights to making banana bread for Chez Doris. They’re easy to make, with only 6 ingredients, and are easy to package in plastic wrap and then tinfoil before I pop them in the freezer. Once I have 3 or 4 loaves, I pack them in the car and deliver them downtown.

The greeting I receive when I show up at the door with a bag of baking is always the same: “Great! We’ll use these this afternoon for prizes in Bingo… We’ll eat these today. These will certainly be appreciated.”

Today’s gift:

Today’s gift has three parts.  First, I’m BAKING three banana breads this afternoon to donate to Chez Doris. Second, I’m including the RECIPE below so that you can make your own banana bread as soon as you have brown bananas.

And third, if you would like to MAKE A DONATION so that I can make more banana breads, I’ve set up a link here.  For a teeny tiny donation of $2.85 CDN ($2.80 US) I can make, bake, and deliver one whole banana bread that serves 10.



3 medium bananas, very ripe (approx. 375 g)
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened (75 mL / 57 g)
1 cup white sugar (250 mL / 200 g)
2 large eggs
1½ cups flour (210 g)
1 teaspoon baking soda (5 mL)

Preheat oven to 325°F (190°C / gas mark 5). Peel ripe bananas and place in medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until completely smooshed.

Soften margarine in microwave at low power in 10 second increments until soft to touch. (Or you can soften at room temperature for 45-95 minutes.)

Add margarine to bananas and beat together. Add sugar and continue to beat until well blended. Add eggs and mix.  Add flour and baking soda. Beat for about a minute until ingredients are well combined.

Spray bread pan (8.5” x 4.5”) with non-stick spray, or coat with a bit of butter.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top and wipe off any drips.

Bake at 325°F (190°C / gas mark 5) oven for 60 minutes, or until brown on top and cooked inside. You can check for doneness with a wooden skewer, a toothpick, or a thin knife. A few moist crumbs are OK, but you shouldn’t see any uncooked batter when you remove the tester.


If you’d like to make a donation to Chez Doris by contributing to the Banana Bread Fund, click here.

All best and happy Monday 🙂


1 Shelley (Head Tomato)

Thanks to Clint, Lynda & Rachel. You have funded another 5 banana breads between you 🙂


2 Shelley (Head Tomato)

Thanks to Esther for sponsoring another 3 loaves of banana bread…

I’ve already made arrangements with a local store to save all their dead bananas for me, but I might need to find some new sources 🙂

Thanks everyone for giving.


3 Sherry Weiner

Thank you for the banana bread recipe. Banana Bread is a favorite here at my house.

Will you please keep the donation link open for future use. I am tapped out for right now but might like to contribute in the near future?

4 Shelley (Head Tomato)

Wowie, thanks to Vina for another 4 loaves… man, that means we’re up to 12 now. Gotta find me some dead bananas and fast!

Thanks to everyone, you’re so amazing.

All best

5 Shelley (Head Tomato)

Sherry … Absolutely, I’ll leave the link up… and maybe I’ll make this banana bread event for Chez Doris a regular event… In which case I’ll need to get some local Montreal subscribers to volunteer in here and help me with the baking 🙂 ~~ Shelley

6 Kristen

Thanks for the recipe. I really like that you are going to leave the link up for us to contribute later. I like Sherry am not able to participate at this time, but I would love to as soon as I can.

Thank you for the recipe and the quick story. I need to look around here where I live and see if there is somewhere that I can contribute to. Again Thank you Shelley!

7 Shelley (Head Tomato)

And as of today, Mariana and Ginger have donated another 8 loaves between then. OK, maybe i won’t have as much problem using up the 52 bananas as i thought… [see Day #29 post]

and it smells great here, as there are two banana breads in the oven right now …

All best,
Shelley 🙂

8 Shelley (Head Tomato)

Thanks to Sandra for sponsoring 2 more banana breads. We even bought more dead bananas today, if you can imagine…

Thanks to everyone, Shelley 🙂

9 grace mills

thanks for the receip

10 Sally Miller

Thanks for providing this opportunity to serve. Blessings to you for all the work!

11 Georgia

Shelley, You are doing an awesome service with this program. I pray that you will continue with it and that it grows. I hope it will grow in other places as well. I am in the process of moving again in the area I am living in. I love to bake and cook. I bake for friends in my class that I attend at my church. I am divorced and my children grown now, When I am finally settled, I will be looking into a shelter here to see if I can do something here as well.Thank you for what you are doing. Keep up the good work. May GOD BLESS you!!!

12 Helen

I’ve had a banana dessert on my mind, and this shows up on my computer today.
Shelley, you are a thoughtful person to donate all those banana breads to Chez Doris. What a great name for a shelter! Best Wishes.

13 Gail Rose Schmidt

I am going to try your banana bread recipe tonight. I am going to include a slice or two for the sack lunches which i make for homeless. Bet it will be a great hit with them. Thanks for all your fun information,!!!

14 Marilou O. Barroso

Shelley being a good samaritan is in yours. You can help the homeless for their daily bread to live in life.

Thanks for the recipe & service. God Bless and keep up your good work.

15 Sharon

I just wanted to let you know, that I go back and read this information about your baking banana breads, I love it, and as soon as I can, I want to donate. I’m not far from needing the donations of that sort of thing myself but I’m looking to change that and then want to help. This is very inspiring.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }