Monday, August 29, 2011

Food Pantry List

Here's the challenge.
  • The church food pantry would like to provide a week's worth of groceries/meals to a family whenever needed.
  • The groceries should include everything the family needs for meals, with few, if any, other ingredients needed.
  • The pantry cannot give out perishable foods, both because we don't have any refrigeration/freezer units and because we never know when a family will need the pantry's services, so we can't keep foods with a limited shelf life on stock. (Sometimes we'll supply groceries to three families in one week, and sometimes two weeks will go by before the pantry is needed.)
  • In good conscience, I can't give out food which I wouldn't be comfortable feeding my own family, which means I'm trying to limit the amount of processed food we give out and I'm trying to ensure the meals are balanced and healthy.
Got that? Five to seven meals, plus some breakfast, lunch, and snack items. No extra ingredients. No perishables or short shelf life foods. Healthy, balanced, limited processed foods.

Yeah, it strikes me as quite a puzzler too.

Oh, and I don't want the recipes to be too involved, too time consuming, or too labor intensive. Or have too many special ingredients, since I'm depending on donations to put the bags together.

Fun mix, all of that.

That being said, I am going to keep two of the staple meals in that I'm using right now.
  1. Tuna Helper. Easy, quick, and the congregation is great at keeping me supplied with the tuna and the tuna helper boxes.
  2. Pasta and spaghetti sauce. Same reasons.
Which means I need three to five other meals.

Rice and Beans. Simple. Few ingredients. Few processed foods. 

Ramen Casserole. The kids and I eat a variation of this at least once a week at lunch time.

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese. Right now I'm giving out boxes of mac n cheese, but I feel bad about this since the box mix calls for milk and butter to complete. Here's a nice alternative to that.

I'm considering the Turkey and Dressing, but am not completely sold on it yet.

What I'd really love are a few other ideas. Anyone have a good suggestion?

(We do also put several cans of soup in each bag for a couple lunches.)

((And somehow, this sat unpublished for two months. Why or how, I don't know.))

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