House of Lazarus cooks up new ‘Crockpot Cuisine’ initiative for food bank clients

House of Lazarus Food Bank is launching its newest program, Crockpot Cuisine, beginning February 1. Those food bank clients who need the service monthly will receive a free Crockpot. Each month they will be given a recipe and the ingredients to make that recipe using their new slow cooker. HOL’s Marianne Villemaire (left) and Kim Merkley are pictured with the Crockpot and the makings for the first recipe: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore.

MOUNTAIN— Cooking delicious and nutritionally-balanced meals becomes just a little easier for local families Feb. 1 as the House of Lazarus (HOL) Food Bank launches its newest program, Crockpot Cuisine.

Forty crockpots will be distributed to users of the HOL Food Bank. The units have been purchased with a grant from the North Grenville Community Fund and supplied at reduced cost through Giant Tiger, Kemptville.

“This is one of the ways we can ensure people who need food are getting it,” HOL executive director Cathy Ashby said, noting that a recent food bank survey found that roughly 40 per cent of adult food bank clients go without eating for at least one full day each month. “We’re trying to be creative in establishing new programs that will supplement our food bank clients’ monthly food allotment.”

In 2019, the program will see HOL client services manager Kim Merkley distribute the free crockpots, along with a monthly recipe and required e ingredients Those food bank clients who already own a crockpot are also eligible to receive the monthly allotment of both recipe and ingredients.

A dietitian from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has provided 12 nutritionally-balanced recipes using ingredients commonly found at the food bank. Each month, there will be a new recipe for either a breakfast, dinner, or dessert, including Chicken Cacciatore, Apple Cinnamon Porridge, Baked Apples, Tuna Potato Casserole and more.

“When I read about a similar program, I knew we had to bring it here for our food bank clients,” Merkley said. “It helps clients by giving them extra food, but it also gives them the information they need to create nutritionally-balanced
meals using a slow cooker. Every participant receives their own cookbook.”

Merkley will be targeting HOL food bank client seniors and families/ individuals who require food bank services on a monthly basis for the mission’s new Crockpot Cuisine program. It joins the popular weekly community meal program,
Dinner on the House, which was added in May 2017. Although it was started for the same reason, Dinner on the House is open to everyone, encouraging community building and togetherness. It’s free and takes place Thursday evenings from 4 to 7 pm at Knox Presbyterian Church on Simms Street in Mountain.

House of Lazarus is a food bank and outreach mission located in Mountain, serving hundreds of clients from surrounding communities, including all of Dundas County, Grenville County and South Ottawa. Last year, 600 people were fedthrough HOL’s food bank, while 2,630 people were provided with food, clothing, furniture, and household goods through its outreach programming. A community-supported venture, House of Lazarus does not rely on government
funding. It’s through HOL thrift stores, grants, donations, and fundraisers that its projects and programs happen.

Also visit HOL on Facebook.



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