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The Dish | June 2023


April At Just Food

  • Households Served - 2,089

  • Individuals Served - 4,489

  • New Shopper Households - 277

  • Number of Volunteer Hours - 1,512.75

  • Number of Volunteers - 184

  • Average Hours / Volunteer - 8

  • Pounds of Recovered Food - 66,723

  • Pounds of Food Donated by Harvesters - 13,891


April 2023 Food Purchasing

In addition to all food donated to Just Food through food drives, food recovery, and through other means, Just Food also purchases food for our pantry each month. Currently, we have budgeted $40,000 for purchasing food (up from spending just $2,300 per month as recently as February 2020). Soon, we anticipate that number to increase to $50,000 per month or more due to rising food costs, reduced access to donated food, and the increased need across our county.

Transparency in how we are spending that budget it important to us and we know it's important to our supporters and donors. In the spirit of that transparency, we will be sharing our monthly purchasing breakdown in each month's The Dish. We welcome your questions about how we acquire our food, any partnerships for food purchasing you may be able to help us leverage, and, of course, your donations to help us fill this ever-growing need.

Please reach out to our Executive Director, Brett at with any questions or connections you may be able to share.


Budget Recipe of the Month

Ramen Noodle Salad

Introducing Budget-Friendly Ramen Noodle Salad: A Refreshing Delight!

Are you ready to tantalize your taste buds without breaking the bank? Look no further than this delightful Ramen Noodle Salad recipe! This budget-friendly dish will take your culinary adventure to new heights, all while keeping your wallet happy.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can transform ramen noodles into a refreshing and flavorful salad that will leave you craving more. Crisp vegetables, a zesty dressing, and the satisfying crunch of ramen noodles come together in perfect harmony.

Not only is this recipe easy on your wallet, but it's also a breeze to make. You can whip up this delectable salad in no time, making it an ideal option for busy weeknight dinners or quick potluck contributions.

The secret to this recipe's affordability lies in its clever use of affordable ingredients that pack a punch. By combining crunchy cabbage, vibrant carrots, and fragrant green onions with a tangy dressing, you'll create a symphony of flavors that will leave you feeling satisfied and your wallet intact.

This Budget-Friendly Ramen Noodle Salad is not only delicious but also versatile. You can customize it to suit your preferences by adding your favorite protein, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu, making it a complete and satisfying meal.

Don't miss out on this fantastic recipe that proves you don't have to compromise on taste to stick to your budget. Get ready to wow your friends and family with this affordable culinary masterpiece!

Stay tuned for more budget-friendly and mouthwatering recipes in our upcoming issues. Happy cooking! Estimated Cost: $8.33/recipe - $1.39/serving


Volunteer of the Month - Ann Bruemmer

Ann has been volunteering regularly with us for about 1 1/2 years, coming in nearly every week to organize and sort items that go into our food pantry. She takes great pride in arranging things thoughtfully, so that they are easy to access and presentable for our shoppers. It's important that the shoppers feel comfortable and welcome in this space.

Ann sees the strength of our community in witnessing how many people donate their time, money and food to Just Food. She recognizes that with seasons of life, sometimes we're more in a position to give and sometimes we need more help from our neighbors. In volunteering every week, Ann has gotten to know a lot of volunteers and shoppers, and especially loves the intergenerational relationships that are built over time.

In her free time Ann bakes and also recently learned how to make quilts using a sewer machine. She has a Tortoiseshell cat named Heather, who she spends a lot more time with since retiring. We are so grateful to Ann for all of the time and energy she invests into Just Food and our shoppers, her kindness is such a gift!


Volunteer Opportunity

Are you interested in learning how to volunteer at check-in (reception at the computer, interacting with shoppers) and/or check-out (counting points, packing groceries, interacting with shoppers)? We are looking for more people to learn these positions so that we have more trained volunteers to cover shifts as needed. We are also looking for 2-3 volunteers interested in a weekly, recurring shift at check-out on Thursdays from 3-6pm. Reach out to Julie at if you are interested!


Food Justice Partner of the Month - Maceli's

This month we recognize Maceli's. They have been donating the last several years and provide us with leftovers from their ready-to-eat meals and catering events. Let me tell you, the food is amazing!

Last year, Maceli's donated 1,394 pounds of food. This year, we are already at 2,338 pounds!

This partnership has been in direct collaboration with our Chop Shop. We are able to repack the food and we can immediately distribute it in our pantry. Thanks Maceli's!!!


Get to Know the Just Food Staff

Tory Roberson - Food Recovery Manager

Meet Tory Roberson, the Food Recovery Manager at Just Food! Tory is the go-to person for all logistics related to picking up close-dated or expired food and maintaining great relationships with stores. On any given day, you can find him operating heavy machinery or repairing and maintaining our fleet of vehicles.

When Tory is not busy at work, you can catch him doing one of his two favorite things on a Saturday afternoon - cheering on his daughter as she plays soccer or out on the water, fishing or kayaking.

Having lived in Lawrence since August 2008, Tory has come to love the city's annual events. But nothing beats the excitement of the Kaw Valley Kickball League, which he enjoys all summer, every summer!

As an interesting tidbit, Tory loves nature and finds solace in hiking to new places and watching the stars. So if you're ever looking for someone to explore the outdoors with, Tory is your guy!

Tory's hard work and dedication to Just Food and the Lawrence community do not go unnoticed. We are incredibly grateful for all that he does to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry. His commitment to food recovery and his ability to maintain positive relationships with stores is crucial to the success of our organization. We are lucky to have him as a part of our team, and we appreciate everything he does to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. Thank you, Tory!

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