Friday, December 27, 2013

Local Soup Kitchens – Benefitting The Community with Nutritious Meals

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Food Pantries, Food Bank, Soup Kitchens may not be like you see in Oliver Twist.  Today there are many folks working and volunteering to serve hot, wholesome and nutritious foods and meals that those who may not have enough to eat regularly.

I recently had the privilege of touring Gleaners Food Bank, where skids of canned foods, juices, and refrigerated products were available.  In fact, in the produce area there were bags of beautiful purple topped turnips cleaned and ready to cook, and I could not miss the skids of jellied cranberry sauce.  As I walked this vast area, I could not help but think this literally looks like Thanksgiving shopping in the grocery store.

I am working with a group who is writing recipes that are easy to prepare, nutritious and taste good that can be handed out to the patrons of the food banks and pantries.

I have also had the great blessing of being involved with Second Helpings, both as a volunteer and educator.  I have seen first hand the beautiful hotel pans of Chili with corn bread or Southwestern Chicken that are going to the more than 3500 persons that Second Helpings serves daily.  Second Helpings and Gleaners both offer an array of ways to help in the community and always can use two more hands, just give them a call.

OK, back to the cranberry sauce.  Every year at the family table is the canned cranberry sauce and at our house there are always left overs, so I got to thinking, cranberry sauce is red, sweet, and easy to smash, SMOOTHIE? Well maybe.  So after a bit of work, the Cranberry Creme Smoothie was served.

Cranberry Crème Smoothie

  • 1 c yogurt
  • 1/4 c jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2 T orange juice

  • Place all ingredients in blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour into glass

Also, look for the Choppin Indiana Hunger cooking event at the Indianapolis Home Show on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  See local chefs cook off using a surprise basket of goodies.  Watch the website and blogs for more information.

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