Cooking delicious and nutritionally-balanced meals is becoming a little easier for local food bank families. House of Lazarus (HOL) Food Bank is launching its newest program, Crockpot Cuisine, on February 1. The Crockpots were recently purchased using a grant from the North Grenville Community Fund. The items were purchased, at a reduced cost, through Giant Tiger Kemptville.
“This is one of the ways we can ensure people who need food are getting it,” HOL executive director Cathy Ashby said, noting that a recent food bank survey found that roughly 40% of adult food bank clients go without eating for at least one full day each month. “We’re trying to be creative in establishing new programs that will supplement our food bank clients’ monthly food allotment.”
In 2019, the program will see HOL client services manager, Kim Merkley, distribute 40 free Crockpots to food bank clients, along with a monthly recipe and the ingredients to make that recipe. Those clients who already own a Crockpot are also eligible to receive the monthly allotment of both recipe and ingredients.
A dietitian from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has provided 12 nutritionally-balanced recipes using ingredients commonly found at the food bank. Each month, there will be a new recipe for either a breakfast, dinner, or dessert, including Chicken Cacciatore, Apple Cinnamon Porridge, Baked Apples, Tuna Potato Casserole, and more.
“When I read about a similar program, I knew we had to bring it here for our food bank clients,” Kim said. “It helps clients by giving them extra food, but it also gives them the information they need to create nutritionally-balanced meals using a slow cooker. Every participant receives their own cookbook.”
Kim will be targeting HOL food bank client seniors and families/ individuals who require food bank services on a monthly basis for the mission’s new Crockpot Cuisine program. It joins the popular weekly community meal program, Dinner on the House, which was added in May 2017. Although it was started for the same reason, Dinner on the House is open to everyone, encouraging community building and togetherness. It’s free and takes place Thursday evenings from 4 to 7 pm at Knox Presbyterian Church on Simms Street in Mountain.
For more information on this or other House of Lazarus projects, please visit www.houseoflazarus.com, or follow the mission on Facebook.