Monday, November 17, 2008

Gratituesday: Free food!

I've wanted for a while now to participate in Menu Plan Monday, but I don't usually plan our menus, because our food varies so much from day to day - week to week.

We get most of our food from a local ministry called Food Net. The area grocery stores donate their "unsaleable" food (generally bread and produce, but also including a fair amount of dairy), and there's sites all over town that give this food away to anyone that shows up. There's usually lines, but they don't screen for income or anything like that. And you can go to as many as you wish every week. When we're not terribly busy, we go to three a week. Lately it's been one or two.

Since we meet income qualifications, we also get some of our food (and things like shampoo and laundry soap) from the local food bank, which we visit once a week. We by no means exhaust our possibilities for free food in our town. Not even close. If we were a bit more diligent and a bit less picky (we like good rice, for example), we could very likely never have to buy food.

Today was an especially good Food Net -- only about 70 people showed up to get food, and they had LOTS of food. I was the first one in line after they figured out that they had waaayyy too much food and decided to start just throwing food at the remaining 22 of us. Here's what we brought home.

16 yogurts and 1 individual jello
6 pieces of pizza, 6 bread sticks (these from a local pizza joint, we ate them for lunch)
1 head romaine, and a package of organic baby spinach
a sandwich (from a hospital, we'll toss the bread and salvage the meat)
1 green pepper
6 tomatoes
3 pounds of fresh green beans
fresh chives
an apple
a half cantelope
roasted onion sour cream
32 oz. spreadable margarine
16 oz. cottage cheese
5 individual packages of string cheese
1 pound of cojack cheese
half-dozen eggs
5 lb bag of frozen chicken nuggets
3 lb bag potato skins
1 lb sausage
3 pints of half-n-half
3 pints of milk
6 large cookies
6 cans of pepsi (from the local pepsi bottling plant)
6 loaves of good bread (organic whole wheat, from a local bakery -- very good)
8 packages of junky hot dog buns (save for pot luck) 2 packages of good rolls (from same bakery)
10 bagels

And probably more that I'm forgetting. I could hardly carry it all. And the lady at the front filled up each kid's pocket with candy. Yipee.

Add to that a grocery bag full of apples and pears from my Mother-in-Law last night, and leftover turkey and mashed potatoes from the weekend. Our fridge is full!

So this week we'll be eating:

yogurt, cantelope, apples and pears

omelettes, Pancakes, Oatmeal, Bagels

Green bean turkey casserole (green beans, onion sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, throw in some turkey to make it a main dish).

Poor-man lasagna (lasagna with macaroni rather than lasagna noodles.) Use the tomatoes, spinach and cottage cheese.

Potato soup (leftover mashed potatoes, leftover ham from last week)

Chicken Noodle soup (frozen homemade noodles, leftover turkey and turkey broth)

Un-stuffed peppers (same a stuffed green peppers, but with the peppers cut into chunks and it all cooked as a tomato-rice-hamburger-green pepper-cheese casserole.)

Chicken pot pie (with chopped up chicken nuggets)

And I forsee some home-made ice cream from that half-n-half.

Thank you LORD for such generosity toward us!

For more Gratituesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers

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