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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Davis

The Dish | June 2024

Households Served: 2,486 Individuals Served: 5,417 New Shoppers: 281 Volunteer Hours: 2,321 Volunteers: 281 Average Hours / Volunteer: 8.3 Pounds of Recovered Food: 70,353 Pounds of Food Donated by Harvesters: 14,646
We’re thrilled to announce that our annual gala is moving to June! Join us for a special celebration of Just Food's fifteenth year serving the Douglas County community at A Night in the Bayou, hosted on the rooftop of The Oread Hotel on June 20th at 6pm.   This black-tie event, emceed by Deja Brooks, will feature acrobatics by The Last Carnival, music from the Back Alley Brass Band, engaging experiences like tarot readings, a specialty cocktail station hosted by Mass Street Fish House, and much more! Most importantly, your participation will support Just Food’s mission to combat hunger in our community.
At Just Food, we believe everyone deserves access to nourishing food, regardless of their circumstances. Thanks to supporters like you, we achieved incredible milestones in 2023: 13,420 individuals accessed our onsite pantry or satellite pantry at Heartland Care Clinic. 572,513 pounds of food were redirected through our food recovery program, preventing 697.12 tons of greenhouse gasses from entering our local atmosphere. Over 200 families received diapers monthly through our Just Basics program. Nearly a third of our pantry visits were for children aged 0-18. 30+ partner agencies accessed our food bank, including 17 schools through our Classroom Cupboards program, which distributed over 32,000 pounds of food to youth in our community.  “Just Food was founded fifteen years ago on one simple principle: it's just that people have food. Since our inception in 2009, Just Food has consistently expanded our capacity to meet this urgent need. Last year alone, we served over 13,000 individuals in our pantry. Events like our annual gala make our incredibly important work possible, and this year’s gala is like nothing we have ever done before!”   ~ Aundrea Walker, Executive Director ~  Tickets are selling fast! Get yours now by clicking below!
Sheet Pan Pancakes This recipe is a great way to make pancakes for a crowd on a budget. By baking them on a sheet pan, you can cook many pancakes at once, which is perfect for feeding a large group of people. Additionally, the recipe is easily customizable, so you can add in your favorite toppings to keep everyone happy. Once baked, the pancakes can be frozen for easy breakfasts throughout the week, which is a great way to save time and money in the mornings.  Another advantage of sheet pan pancakes is that they are less likely to burn or turn out unevenly cooked compared to traditional pancakes cooked on a stovetop. This is because they are all baked at the same time in a controlled oven environment. This can be a lifesaver for those who are not confident in their pancake-flipping skills!  Estimated Cost: $2.22/recipe - $0.55/serving  Recipe: Sheet Pan Pancakes
If you are a gardener or farmer, you will know that the survival of many plants depends on how cold it gets during the winter. To help farmers and gardeners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) puts out a map of “plant hardiness zones,” sorting the country into regions defined by their minimum winter temperatures.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized long-anticipated changes to the nutrition standards that regulate school meals. Among the changes that attracted the most attention were the first-ever limits on added sugar and a scaled-down plan to reduce salt.
A nascent movement of LGBTQ+ farmers is working to build community in rural spaces and provide an alternative to Big Ag.
LGBTQIA+ individuals and families have long experienced higher rates of hunger and poverty than non-LGBTQIA+ individuals and families. And some community members, including transgender adults, young adults, women, and Black, Latinx, American Indian, and Pacific Islander LGBTQIA+ people, experience particularly high rates.
In April the Chop Shop team rescued and repurposed 2,512lbs of food that otherwise would have been thrown away. That amount of waste alone is enough to produce 6.87 tons of CO2eq if it were to hit the landfill. Instead, this food produced close to 2,000 portions of sandwiches, meals, and more for the Just Food pantry and members of the Douglas County community.  Calculated using ReFED Impact Calculator
Santiago Barbaso Espinosa is May’s Volunteer of the Month! Santiago's dedication and enthusiasm have been a true inspiration to everyone here.  In just four short months, Santiago has made a remarkable impact. He initially came to Just Food seeking to improve his English and gain valuable experience outside his home country. With the support of his uncle Ernesto  and aunt Lina, he quickly discovered Just Food through a volunteer website.   After attending our volunteer orientation, Santiago eagerly began lending a helping hand.  "I really enjoy going to volunteer at Just Food," says Santiago. "Every day, I love helping people, laughing with the other volunteers and staff. It's a truly amazing experience, and I deeply appreciate the
This month, we’d like to recognize Starbucks on 23rd Street as our Community Partner of the Month! Since opening their doors in 2019, Starbucks has been a dedicated partner in the fight against hunger in Douglas County. Their commitment is impressive! Last year alone, Starbucks on 23rd Street donated a staggering 1,545 pounds of ready-to-eat meals to Just Food. These included delicious sandwiches, pastries, yogurts, and bagels, all of which helped nourish our community members in need.  And that's not all! So far this year, they've already donated 484 pounds of food. We're incredibly grateful for their ongoing support.  But Starbucks' contributions extend beyond donations. This year, they'll be hosting a food drive at their location, making it even easier for the community to donate. Additionally, their store serves as a drop-off point for our community barrels, which are expected to bring in an additional 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food!  Just Food extends a heartfelt thank you to Starbucks on 23rd Street for their unwavering partnership.
Tiffany Coolberth We are thrilled to welcome Tiffany Coolberth as one of the newest additions to the Just Food team! Tiffany joins us as one of two new Peer Support Fellows, bringing with her a passion for community engagement and a deep commitment to addressing food insecurity.  Her dedication to our mission shines through her work, as she actively seeks out ways to support and uplift those in our community facing food insecurity.  But Tiffany's contributions extend  beyond the walls of our organization. On any given Saturday afternoon, you might find her indulging in her favorite
pastime—tending to her yard, planting flowers and veggies, and spending quality time with her beloved dog Oliver and her 6-year-old tortoise Leo. Family is central to Tiffany's life, as she shares her home with not only her pets but also two spirited 15-year-old girls, as well as a pilot and a carpenter.  Tiffany has called this vibrant community home for the past seven years. When asked about her favorite annual Lawrence event, she enthusiastically cites Busker Fest, a celebration of street performance that perfectly encapsulates the city's eclectic spirit.  But Tiffany's interests extend far beyond the confines of Lawrence. An interesting tidbit about her: she has a deep love for Alaska and relishes spending time there, engaging in a myriad of outdoor warm-weather activities. This adventurous spirit and love for nature undoubtedly enrich her work at Just Food, as she brings a wealth of diverse experiences and perspectives to her role.  We are excited to have her on board and look forward to the contributions she will undoubtedly make to our organization and the Lawrence community as a whole. Join us in extending a warm welcome to Tiffany!
Amber Beierly We are delighted to introduce Amber Beierly as one of the newest members of the Just Food family! Joining us as one of two Peer Support Fellows, Amber brings with her a wealth of experience, a deep commitment to community service, and a passion for making a difference in the lives of others.  As a Peer Support Fellow, Amber (and Tiffany) are tasked with supporting the shoppers who utilize Just Food to help them understand how to navigate our pantry as well as other services throughout the community. Amber’s dedication to this cause is palpable, as she works hard to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the
food and resources they need.  When she's not hard at work serving our community, you'll likely find Amber indulging in her favorite pastime: fishing. There's nothing quite like spending a Saturday afternoon by the water, casting a line, and enjoying the tranquility of nature.  Born and raised in Lawrence, Amber has deep roots in our community. Despite moving away a few times, she always found herself drawn back to Lawrence—a testament to her love for this community. Her favorite annual event? The Busker Festival, which we’re sure she enjoyed thoroughly last weekend!  But there's more to Amber than just her dedication to community service and her love for fishing and Lawrence events. An interesting tidbit about her: she is currently in recovery, with over two years clean. Her journey to sobriety speaks to her resilience and strength, and it's this same resilience that she brings to her work at Just Food every day.  In addition to her passion for community service, Amber is also a sports enthusiast. Whether she's watching a game or hitting the field herself, she finds joy and camaraderie in the world of sports.  We are thrilled to have her on board and look forward to the positive impact she will have on Just Food and the Lawrence community as a whole. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Amber!

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