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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Davis

The Dish | January 2024

November Stats: Households Served - 2,684 Individuals Served - 5,965 New Shoppers - 339 Volunteer Hours - 1,677.74 Volunteers - 186 Average Hours / Volunteer - 9 Pounds of Recovered Food - 48,960 Pounds of Food Donated by Harvesters - 22,304
Budget Recipe of the Month: Sweet Potato Hash This Sweet Potato Hash recipe offers a delicious and budget-friendly meal that won't break the bank. With simple and affordable ingredients, this dish is not only economical but also packs a flavorful punch. The main components include sweet potatoes, onion, red bell pepper, and breakfast sausage, all of which are budget-conscious choices.  The cost-effective nature of this recipe is evident in its use of readily available and reasonably priced ingredients. With minimal cooking oil required, this Sweet Potato Hash offers a wallet-friendly option for a satisfying and flavorful meal. Whether served with fresh parsley, sliced avocado, or your favorite toppings, this budget-friendly recipe is sure to become a household favorite.  Estimated Cost: $5.36/recipe - $0.89/serving  Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash
Our community has once again rallied together in a show of incredible generosity. Thanks to your support, our 2023 Holiday Fundraising Campaign has raised over $210,000! A heartfelt thank you to each donor and supporter for ensuring that Just Food remains a lifeline for our friends and neighbors in need.  This outstanding achievement means we can continue vital programs like the Cruising Cupboard, ensuring that those with transportation barriers have access to fresh food. Our delivery program, Pots & Pantry, Chop Shop, and Just Basics will also benefit, providing essential assistance to the homebound, kitchen essentials to those who need them, ready-to-eat meals from recovered food, and basic needs items.
Upcoming Opportunities to Support Just Food: Lawrence Beer Company Date TBD Lawrence Beer Company East (826 Pennsylvania Street) will be hosting a Dine & Donate night for us in January. We’ll be announcing the date as soon as we have confirmed it. Get ready to enjoy an evening out with a percentage of all sales benefitting Just Food. Your participation not only supports our mission but also makes for a delightful evening. Chicken N Pickle January 30th - 4-7pm Calling all pickleball and food enthusiasts! Make a short 35-minute trip to Chicken N Pickle (5901 W 135th St, Overland Park) for an evening of fun and fantastic food. A percentage of all sales will be donated to Just Food. Share the opportunity with friends and family in Johnson County and enjoy a great night out supporting a crucial cause.
Peggi & Phil Englehart We are thrilled to recognize our exceptional Volunteers of the Month—Peggi and Phil Englehart, who joined Just Food Just Food as volunteers in the Spring of 2021 (back when masks were still the dress de rigueur). Their commitment to our cause is evident in the myriad ways they contribute to our organizational mission.  Peggi and Phil are not only dedicated volunteers, but they are also passionate advocates for the comprehensive integration of Just Food's operations throughout the
community. From their involvement in grocery store recovery to supporting local farmers, participating in food drives, and contributing to the Chop Shop, they embody the spirit of community engagement.  Their Wednesday mornings at Just Food have become a source of personal  fulfillment, offering ample opportunities to keep busy and make a meaningful impact. Amidst the hustle, they engage in lively banter with our staff and warehouse crew, fostering a positive and vibrant atmosphere. Their interactions with our shoppers reflect their genuine dedication to making a difference in people's lives.  Retirement has granted them the luxury of viewing every day as a weekend day, allowing them to indulge in various activities. From walks with their pup, Goldie, to ongoing home renovation projects and Peggi's artistic pursuits at the Art Center, they fill their time with purpose. Their avid reading and active involvement in neighborhood and local politics, particularly in the realm of affordable and attainable housing, showcase their unwavering commitment to community betterment. We are truly fortunate to have Peggi and Phil as integral members of our volunteer community at Just Food.
HyVee This month, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on our invaluable Community Partner, Hy-Vee. Since the inception of our food recovery program, Hy-Vee has stood as a steadfast ally in our mission to combat hunger in Douglas County.  A longstanding partner, Hy-Vee's commitment to making a difference is truly commendable. Generously contributing to our cause, they have consistently donated an assortment of essential items four times a week, including bread, sweets, perishables, produce, and non-perishables. Their support has been pivotal in helping us provide nourishment to those in need.  The impact of Hy-Vee's dedication is evident in the numbers. Last year alone, we recovered an astounding 106,043 pounds of food with their assistance. As we approach the end of 2023, the tally has already reached an impressive 100,077 pounds, underlining their continued commitment to fighting hunger in our community.  Hy-Vee goes above and beyond by organizing multiple food drives throughout the year, further emphasizing their dedication to ensuring our shelves remain stocked to support those who rely on our services.  Thank you, Hy-Vee for being an exceptional partner in our collective effort to eradicate hunger.
Meet Chetan Miche, the dynamic Sourcing & Production Manager at Just Food! If you're scratching your head wondering what exactly that means, let us break it down for you. Chetan's role is like a culinary superhero; he swoops in to rescue items from the jaws of spoilage and rescues the giants of donations deemed inordinately large. Armed with his culinary prowess, he and a team of volunteers transform these items in a commissary kitchen, whipping up delicious dishes or finding creative ways to stabilize them, and then return them to our pantry for distribution. It's like a food rescue mission you'd see in a Hollywood blockbuster, but in real life!
When Chetan isn't donning his cape at Just Food, you'll likely find him spending his Saturday afternoons in the most intriguing way possible. He's a master of pool and a champion of discussions about the radical reallocation of physical and financial resources. Imagine engaging in passionate debates about changing the world while sinking balls into pockets—now that's what we call a Saturday well spent!  Chetan has called Lawrence home for 20 years. His favorite annual events, the Demolition Derby and the Audio Reader Sale, showcase his diverse interests. Whether it's the thrill of vehicular mayhem or hunting for hidden literary treasures, Chetan's got it all covered.  But here's the kicker - Chetan isn't just about sourcing and production; he's also a multi-talented wonder. He can write with both hands, a skill that's as impressive as it is rare. And if that weren't enough, he moonlights as a Soul and Funk DJ, grooving to the rhythm and spreading the joy of music to the masses.  We can't express enough how much we appreciate Chetan's dedication and creativity at Just Food. His work isn't just about food; it's about making a difference in the lives of those who need it most, and we couldn't be prouder to have him as part of our team. Chetan, you're a true hero in every sense, and we're grateful for the incredible work you do for Just Food and the Lawrence community!
As we usher in the New Year, I find myself reflecting on the profound impact our organization has had on our community. In a world where uncertainties often prevail, your unwavering commitment to eradicating hunger has been a beacon of hope and resilience. Your donations of time and resources have helped us create tangible impacts, fostering resilience and brighter futures for both individuals and families in need. As we leave behind the challenges of the past year, let's step into the new one with renewed determination to make a difference. Your efforts have not only provided sustenance but have also sown the seeds of compassion, kindness, and unity. The nourishment you offer extends to the hearts and spirits of those you touch each and every day.   May this year bring even more strength to our mission, more resources to our cause, and more smiles to the faces of those we serve. In the spirit of community and shared humanity, let's continue working together to build a future where no one goes to bed hungry. We aspire to build upon the
foundation we've created together - your continued support will empower us to reach even more individuals, address the root causes of food insecurity, and  work towards a community where everyone has the accessible nourishment they need, in tandem with empowering and cultivating change.   Wishing you a New Year filled with abundance, fulfillment, and the satisfaction of knowing that your tireless work is changing lives for the better.

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