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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Davis

The Dish | April 2024

Households Served: 2,349 Individuals Served: 5,113 New Shoppers: 221 Volunteer Hours: 1,503.80 Volunteers: 190 Average Hours / Volunteer: 7.9 Pounds of Recovered Food: 76,232 Pounds of Food Donated by Harvesters: 15,270
Honey Siracha Tofu Looking for a vegetarian protein option that's kind to your wallet and easy to whip up on a busy weeknight? Look no further than this month's Budget Recipe of the Month: Honey Sriracha Tofu! This flavorful dish is packed with protein from tofu, a budget-friendly staple, and comes together in under 30 minutes.  With pantry staples like sriracha, honey, soy sauce, and cornstarch, this recipe keeps costs low without sacrificing taste. Plus, a single block of tofu offers multiple servings, making it a great way to stretch your grocery budget.  This recipe is perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking to add plant-based protein to their diet. The crispy tofu tossed in a sweet and spicy honey sriracha glaze is sure to become a new go-to for quick and flavorful meals.  Estimated Cost: $2.64/recipe - $0.66/serving  Recipe: Honey Siracha Tofu
On March 13th, Just Food’s Impact Director joined Lawrence Public Library’s “Dessert and a Movie” group to discuss their movie of the month, Leftovers.   “Photographer Seth Hancock was asked to make a documentary on a subject matter that meant nothing to him - Senior Citizens and Hunger. So he traveled across America to discover why senior citizens are the fastest growing group of people going hungry in America, why we treat senior citizens as second-class citizens, why he never cared about this issue and what can be done to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens in America.” This movie got us thinking about our impact on Douglas County’s senior population. While we are encouraged to see that we are reaching more and more seniors in our community each year, it is clear that the need continues to grow. The United States is facing an aging population so now more than ever it is important to support our neighbors and strengthen senior food security.
Maybe we’re a little biased…but we were featured in Flatland, so we had to share! Read about our work at Chop Shop, how we are addressing food waste, and how it ties into other food insecurity work being done across the county.
“If you’re craving good films on the food system, Food Tank has put together a list of documentaries and films to inspire, educate, and give viewers some food for thought. Each film explores a different topic in food and agriculture, some with a dash of social equality or a splash of health awareness. Whether you’re a social activist, small farmer, or sustainability advocate, or you just enjoy food, we’re sure you’ll find a food film to further inform and interest you in all things food.”
The most sustainable meal is the one we don't waste. In February of 2024, Chop Shop rescued 2,465lbs of food and produced 3,543lbs of meals for the Just Food pantry. Keeping food out of the landfill is an imperative piece of our mission at Just Food. To put these numbers into perspective, the estimated amount of water used to produce 2,465lbs of food is equivalent to 10,927 standard showers.  Calculated using ReFED Impact Calculator
A warm welcome to all our new Just Food volunteers! We're so grateful for your decision to join our mission of fighting hunger in our community. We also want to extend a big thank you to everyone who came out for our Just Food Garden Cleanup Day on Friday, March 15th. Your hard work will ensure a bountiful harvest this season!  And finally, a special shout-out to all those who participated in our Volunteer Town Hall on Wednesday, March 20th. The discussions were insightful, and we appreciate your feedback. As a reminder, to be considered an active volunteer, you just need to have volunteered within the past year. If it's been a while since you've joined us, we encourage you to sign up for a shift! It's a great way to catch up, see what's new at Just Food, and get a refresher on our mission. To learn more about volunteering opportunities, feel free to email our Volunteer Manager, Jess, at vounteer@justfoodks.org.
Join us for "A Night in the Bayou" – a one-of-a-kind event at the Oread Hotel on Thursday, June 20th. This unforgettable evening promises delicious food, lively entertainment, and the chance to make a real difference in our community. For 15 years, Just Food has been dedicated to ensuring everyone has access to healthy, nourishing meals. This gala directly supports our essential mission, and with your help, we can continue to fight hunger in Douglas County.  While tickets go on sale later this month, save the date NOW!  Interested in becoming an event sponsor and making an even bigger impact? Reach out to our Director of Development, Ali, at development@justfoodks.org.
Eileen Larson We are thrilled to announce Eileen Larson as our Volunteer of the Month for April! Eileen brings a warm spirit and a dedication to fighting hunger to Just Food.  Eileen's decision to volunteer at Just Food stemmed from a desire to address a fundamental need: access to healthy food. "When deciding where I wanted to volunteer after retiring, I chose Just Food because I related to the idea of helping provide people with the most basic of needs, food!" But Eileen's talents extend far beyond the kitchen. When she's not ensuring Just Food runs smoothly, she enjoys whipping up delicious soups, a testament to her love of cooking.  However, Eileen's creativity doesn't stop in the kitchen. She recently built a stained glass studio, where she lets her artistic side shine. Eileen also uses her sewing skills to make capes for imaginative kiddos, fostering their creativity and dreams of flight and fancy.  Just Food is incredibly grateful for Eileen's dedication and her zest for life. Her commitment to our mission and her infectious enthusiasm are an inspiration to us all!
Greenbush Resource Center Just Food is thrilled to announce Greenbush Resource Center as our Community Partner of the Month for April! Greenbush is our newest partner in the fight against hunger in Lawrence, and their contributions are already making a significant impact. As a leading resource center for educational programs and services, Greenbush is dedicated to supporting the community in a variety of ways. Their commitment extends to food security as well, with Greenbush donating leftover meals from their catering service three times a week.  These donations help keep our ready-to-eat meal section stocked. Shoppers now have access to a wider selection of highly sought-after items, including delicious sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables, and delectable pastries.  In addition to these prepared meals, Greenbush also donates bulk staples like pastas, sauces, salads, and proteins. These items are then prepped and repackaged by our dedicated team at the Chop Shop, ensuring they reach our shoppers in a convenient and useable format.  Just Food extends a heartfelt thank you to Greenbush Resource Center for reaching out and partnering with us to create a more food-secure Lawrence. Their generosity is making a real difference in the lives of our community members!
Every year when Spring arrives I am filled with a sense of gratitude and hope looking forward to the year ahead. As we move through this journey together, I invite each and every one of you to join us in shaping the future of our community. Whether it is through participating in community initiatives, volunteering your time and talents, or simply lending a helping hand to those in need, your contributions matter more than you know.  In the coming months, we have an exciting array of events, programs, and initiatives planned to engage and empower our community. From community food drives and festivals to educational opportunities for our shoppers, there will be ample opportunities for us to come together, learn from one another,
and create positive change.  As we navigate the road ahead, let us do so with positivity, compassion, and a  deep sense of solidarity. Together, we can overcome any obstacle, seize every opportunity, and build a brighter future for our communities in Douglas County.   Thank you for your unwavering commitment to Just Food. Together, we are stronger, together, we are unstoppable.

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