For many children, school is where they get their main source of nutrition each day. However, with the spread of COVID-19 has come school closings and updates to the limits imposed on gatherings. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle mission remains steadfast: to find innovative ways to get food into the hands of those who need it most. They are working hard to ensure children, families, and seniors can access the nutritious meals they need to live healthy, hunger-free lives during this unprecedented time.
As of Monday, March 16, the Food Shuttle has begun production of nutrient-dense, blast-frozen meals to distribute to children and families who are unable to access free and reduced breakfasts and lunches at closed schools. These meals are being prepared by the culinary program with the assistance of the Culinary Apprenticeship Program students and support from area restaurants including Union Special, A Place at the Table, MOFU Shoppe, Temple’s Table, and Honest Abe’s Kitchen and Bar. Specifically, Chef Katsuji Tanabe, award-winning chef, and owner of 6 restaurants across North America (including a local favorite, High Horse NC) will be on-site at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 17th to help prepare the blast frozen meals for the initial distribution.
How can you help?
While these meals are distributed free of charge, the blast-frozen meals cost about $2 each to produce, for a total of around $10,000 for only two weeks of meals. Considering the trajectory of closures, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle wants to be prepared to be able to provide meals for the next 8 weeks. They are reliant upon our donors to help make this possible. If you are interested in making a donation, www.foodshuttle.org/donate. They are also asking our community to consider setting up their own donation page and asking their friends and family to give. To set up your page, click on “Become a Fundraiser” at www.foodshuttle.org/community.
Local chefs and their staff interested in helping prepare these meals in their commercial kitchens can do so. These meals consist of such items as meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets. To prepare offsite, restaurants need to commit to a serving size of 500 meals or more and to provide the necessary ingredients. We will provide the recipes, serving quantities, specific guidelines and other logistical information. Those interested should contact Rachel Quigley at email@example.com.
Lastly, Food Shuttle is seeking volunteers this week (March 16-21) to fill in critical volunteer slots. This will allow front-load food preparation and bag packing in such programs as Grocery Bags for Seniors and BackPack Buddies. To sign up to volunteer or join their on-call list, please visit www.foodshuttle.org/volunteer.