Goodman Community Center | Pantry staff makes cooking with pantry…

Pantry staff makes cooking with pantry ingredients more accessible

By working with customers, our pantry is introducing new methods to help cooks of all skill levels build nutritious and delicious meals.

March 10, 2023 |

In February, we shared with you a few of the vital community tools supporting our Fritz Food Pantry through an unprecedented time of need. The combination of your donations, relationships with local businesses and initiatives like Dane County’s Farm to Food Bank program have kept our pantry shelves stocked each week despite climbing inflation.

The passion for our food pantry isn’t just coming from outside sources. Pantry staff work hard to provide a wide variety of options to accommodate as many diets, allergies and food preferences as possible. But just because the ingredients are offered, doesn’t mean every customer has the resources and expertise to put recipes together at home.

Pantry Assistant Abby, who is endlessly passionate about the pantry, knows this and has started working towards bridging those gaps.

Abby started by putting rings of simple recipes, like nutrient-rich casseroles, on shelves for customers to take while they shop. But when Abby noticed customers weren’t taking the recipe cards like expected, she wasn’t discouraged. Instead, she and Pantry Manager Francesca brainstormed other ways to give customers more access to nutritious and delicious home-cooked meals.

Two of Abby's recipe rings, for oatmeal cookies and chicken, broccoli and rice casserole, hanging by some of the recipe's included ingredients.

In recent years, companies like Hello, Fresh have made step-by step meal kits a popular alternative to the usual shopping experience. Grocery chains have also embraced this cooking-made-simple market, offering meal-kits for customers to buy in-stores.

So why not put meal kits on our pantry shelves?

To see how customers would respond, Abby put together a delicious kit for Shepard’s pie with a recipe customers could re-use in the future. While initially anxious about the kit’s reception, Abby’s pick-up-and-go Shepard’s Pie flew off the shelves.

Now, Abby’s goal is to put together meal kits and distribute recipes from pantry customers.

“Who better to know how to cook with our pantry ingredients, after all.”

Besides making cooking more accessible, Abby hopes to collect recipes that reflect the diverse cultural and food backgrounds of her customers. A goal that’s been made easier by the increase in bilingual volunteers who have been able to connect with Spanish speaking customers.

You can help Abby and our pantry make cooking more accessible anytime by donating to our pantry, which has its own Amazon Wishlist for easy shopping. You can also drop off donations anytime to the front desk at our Ironworks building.

For more information about our pantry contact:

Francesca Frisque

Assistant Director of Food Pantry
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