Neighboring

Lasagna Love: Helping Neighbors, One Dish At A Time

We’re approaching the holiday season. For many people, that means contributing to their community by donating their time or resources to a charitable organization. Those who enjoy cooking often sign up for serving holiday meals at their church or local food pantry, but now there’s a volunteer group that’s designed to transform your kitchen into a soup kitchen – or rather a lasagna kitchen.

For some people, volunteering at a community meal site is hard to commit to especially if you’re already working full-time and have a family to cook for. But imagine a volunteer role where you never have to leave your kitchen; you just have to cook a little extra and deliver it to a family in need down the street. Lasagna Love is here to make it that much easier for you to contribute to your community.

Lasagna Love is an international grassroots organization that was started in Hawaii by a mom of three and activist, Rhiannon Menn, during the pandemic. The movement quickly spread, and two years later, Lasagna Love volunteers have delivered meals to over one million people worldwide.

I personally have been a volunteer for Lasagna Love for over a year, and the experience has been so rewarding. The process of signing up to provide this wonderful service couldn’t be easier. I started out by making a volunteer profile at Lasagnalove.org and setting my preferences so that I was able to deliver meals at times and locations convenient for me. Then I reviewed the training information that Lasagna Love provided – mostly just common sense stuff like food safety, and communication protocols. The next day, I got my first match!

Lasagna Love is aptly named because volunteers are only expected to know how to cook one thing– lasagna. But if you’re interested in offering something else, you’re more than free to do so if the receiving family agrees to it. Most of the families I’ve delivered to prefer lasagna, but I’ve also delivered enchiladas and soups with happy responses. The beauty of lasagna is that it freezes well, so if you have some downtime in the week and you know you’ll be delivering to a family at some point, you can make a lasagna, freeze it, and then heat it up the evening of delivery. Volunteering really doesn’t get more convenient than that.

I’ve been through some hard times in my life, including food insecurity. As a volunteer with Lasagna Love, I don’t really get a lot of insight into what the families on the receiving end are going through, but I know from my own experiences that coming home to a warm, homemade meal at the end of a challenging day is one of the best things I could ever imagine. It’s easy to get discouraged by how many problems need to be fixed. But we don’t need to, nor should we try to burden ourselves with trying to fix all of the world’s problems at once. Thanks to Lasagna Love’s framework, we can make a difference in the lives of others by simply cooking a quick meal in our own kitchen.

-Gene Glarosh

Photo by Anna Guerrero (Pexels.com)

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