Kelly's Kitchen is in contact with disability and food stakeholder groups along the gulf coast preparing to respond to Category 4 Storm Laura.
Impacts are expected to be severe from Laura, who is currently making landfall. Storm surges up to 15 feet are imminent. Flooding is expected to cause power outages, extreme property damage, and force people out of their homes for an extended period of time during a pandemic. Kelly's Kitchen and our partners are readying our supplies to help mitigate impacts on survivors by attending to healthy feeding operations.
The Covid-19 Pandemic poses a unique challenge for all of us, especially those living in food-insecure places. Additionally, people with disabilities and access and functional needs are disproportionately impacted as well. Access to caregivers, medication, and healthy, quality foods has become incredibly difficult. Kelly's Kitchen and our partners are coordinating an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Food insecurity is widespread and rampantly affecting our global community. Kelly's Kitchen has brought together disability rights leaders, emergency management officials, and food manufacturing experts to support food pantry efforts around the country serving people with disabilities and others disproportionately impacted by the effects of this disaster.
To date we have directly supported organizations in 17 states including Washington, Connecticut, Virginia, California, Vermont, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and New York.
If your organization is interested in creating a food bank, maintaining an existing food bank, or is actively involved in healthy feeding efforts to your community we want to support you!
Please reach out to us at www.kellys-kitchen.org. Let us know about your work and your needs. We are standing by to support.
Our hands-on instructional classes and accountability groups will give disadvantaged parents and community leaders and influencers the knowledge to provide healthy meals to their families and encourage healthy eating in their communities.
Kelly's Kitchen Accountability Classes will guide participants through various cooking exercises to make the best use of ingredients to produce nutritious home-cooked meals.
Interactive cooking lessons
Grocery shopping techniques
Fruits, Veggies, and raw food preparation
Weekly meal planning
Feeding Our People
-Delivery of food
-Inaccessible Food Pantries (churches)
-Sourcing food from suppliers
-Communication with food suppliers
-Expired, freezer burned, bad food
-Gather information from clients when making delivery/contact (medical supplies, social health)
-Update referral lists regularly
-Start a “Victory Garden”
-Coordinate with local Aging organization who may be able to waive meals on wheels requirements
-Connect with Housing Authorities
-School service groups may have volunteers
-Use volunteers to make phone calls or other ways to maintain distance
-No contact delivery vehicle loading and delivery
-Anonymous food drop-offs
General Tips for starting operations:
-Designate a Food Justice Advisor to manage all things food bank related. This person should maintain a certain supply level based on various factors like population size and specific needs of the area.
-Designate a closet, room, or area for donated foods. Create accessible signage so people can find it easily. If you have space, incorporate a quick drop donation table so people can drop off and pick up donations.
-Have the capability to receive donations at a particular time and/or place. Make this known to the public. Donations will manifest in a variety of ways. Unopened surplus food, food drives, snack and dinner programs, monetary, etc. Determine what you are willing to take and what you won’t accept.
-Log donations, track items, get information from individuals. Have participants fill out information forms so you know who is coming and going. Track inventories over time to determine your area-specific needs.
START YOUR OWN GARDEN
Having a garden outside your door can decrease your food costs by $20 to $50 per week. You don't have to be a master gardener to grow what you enjoy eating. Below are 4 easy steps to get you on your way to growing your own food.
1. Identifying the spot for your patch is the most important step. You want to have direct sunlight, good drainage, and shelter from the wind.
2. Determine what you want to grow. Check with your local county extension office to find what grows best in your area. Start with herbs and vegetables that don't need much attention.
3. Clear the ground of debris, weeds, and roots.
4. Plant seeds, water and wait for Mother Nature to take over.
Support Local Farmers
For those of us without a green thumb going to your local Farmer's Market is the next best thing to having your own garden. Help your community by keeping the money you spend local, reduce carbon emissions, be healthy.
Click on the button below to find a farmer's market near you: