The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

CASSEROLE PROGRAM FOR THE NEEDY — VEGAN DONATIONS WANTED By Maria Pittarelli

Posted on April 07, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Our Daily Bread in Baltimore serves free meals to over 700 needy people 365 days a year. They said about ten percent of individuals ask for a vegetarian meal, which typically consists of macaroni and cheese, salad, fruit, cheese, bread, and a desserts. We were enthusiastically told that they would love to get more vegetarian donations to provide more options and variety. They accept canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans, peanut butter, cereal, oatmeal, and other shelf-stable donations.

They also have a casserole program where generous people in the community can make one of the casserole recipes on their website and donate it for use during the lunch service when needed. VRG’s Foodservice Advisor Chef Nancy Berkoff created three vegan recipes, which now have been posted as options on the website. Nancy tested these at a senior center in Los Angeles. The recipes are:

Brunswick Stew
Creamy Bean and Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole.

The recipes and donation directions are at:
http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/our-daily-bread/odb-food-service/favorite-casserole-recipes.html

If you, your family, or a local group would like to make a vegetarian donation to this charity, they accept donations of any quantity on any day between 8 am and 3 pm. If you choose to donate a casserole, they will need to be in a disposable metal casserole pan sized 12” x 10” x 2 9/16” deep. I had difficulty finding this exact size, but party stores and some groceries sell a pan that is very close in dimensions (within half an inch) and that was perfectly acceptable to them. The casserole must be frozen solid before donating. In our case, homemade casseroles that were put in the home freezer at 5 pm were frozen by 9 am the next morning. Be careful to not stack the casseroles before they are frozen, as this can result in them breaking or leaking. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or the corresponding disposable lid, and label with the name of the casserole and the date it was made. If you are able to make a donation, it would be greatly appreciated and put to good use helping those in need who desire vegetarian meals.

If you are in the Baltimore area, you can prepare and donate these casseroles to our Daily Bread. You can enlist the help of others at your organization, church, synagogue, mosque, or any other meeting you attend. If you are not in the Baltimore area, you should be able to find a local charity which would be thrilled to receive these casseroles for their feeding programs.

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