Lasagna Love: Connecting Neighbors with Neighbors
September 22, 2021
A few months into the Covid-19 pandemic, Cindy Wilson of Bozeman read an article about a South Dakota resident delivering lasagnas to neighbors. Wilson said she had a hankering to volunteer somewhere and loved to cook, so quickly became very interested in "Lasagna Love".
Wilson decided to sign up after learning more about Lasagna Love, a nationwide grassroots movement aiming to positively impact communities by connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery. Now the Lasagna Love Regional Director for Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, Wilson is excited for the opportunity to get more volunteers in Three Forks and other areas in the Gallatin Valley.
Wilson said the organization works for larger places like Bozeman and just as well in smaller places like Three Forks.
"As we push outside of Bozeman and start to get some volunteers in Three Forks and beyond, it is really exciting," she said.
The program started in 2020, currently delivers on average 2,500 to 3,500 lasagnas each week. Wilson added in Montana, they have doubled in size in volunteers over the past few months, and the region she oversees has almost quadrupled.
Those interested in volunteering for Lasagna Love can visit www.lasagnalove.com. The website also allows nominating and requesting a meal. For example, Wilson said if someone wanted to nominate a front-line worker, they could visit the site and provide a phone number to contact the nominated person.
Since becoming part of Lasagna Love, Wilson feels it has been a super rewarding experience.
"Most of the folks we deliver to are extremely gracious. And more than anything, it is showing people that there is still kindness out there. It does not matter what the need is, whether it is financial, emotional, an illness, or food insecurity, there is somebody out in the community willing to make them dinner and deliver it to their doorstep," Wilson said.
Lasagna Love was started at the beginning of the pandemic by one mom (Rhiannon Menn) looking for a way to help others in her community. She and her daughter began making and delivering meals to families residing in her neighborhood who were struggling with pandemic woes.
Our mission is simple: feed families, spread kindness, and strengthen communities. Our efforts not only help address food insecurity, but also provide a simple act of welcome comfort and kindness during a time full of uncertainty and stress
How does it work?
Our nationwide community of Lasagna Chefs (LCs) (volunteers) prepare lasagnas each week and deliver them free of charge and contact-free to the doorstep of local families who have requested a meal. Families can privately sign up to receive a meal (no questions asked!), a process which eliminates any stigmas or barriers associated with asking for help. Once a family is matched with a LC, the volunteer coordinates preparation using the contact information provided (as some families have dietary requests or restrictions) and schedules a day and time for contactless delivery of the meal.