Summer Squash and Tomato Whole Wheat Pasta

Summer Squash

Summer Squash in the Warehouse


Ingredients

Kosher salt (for pasta water)
1 zucchini, sliced into thin discs
1 summer squash, sliced into thin discs
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound whole wheat pasta
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for sprinkling

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.

In a large bowl combine the onion, garlic, oregano, tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini.  Add the quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper, and thoroughly mix all ingredients until evenly coated .

Onto a baking sheet spread the vegetable mixture into an even layer and roast for 10 – 12 minutes,  or until the squash is tender and caramelized. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and scrape the vegetables into a large pasta bowl and cover to keep warm.

Add the pasta to your large pot of salted water, which should now be boiling.  Cook the pasta for 8 – 9 minutes, until it is al dente or there is a slight resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water for later.  Toss pasta gently with the roasted vegetables. Add the pasta water if needed. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

Watermelon Gazpacho

Ingredients
1 large tomato, pureed
1/2 serrano chile
2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

This entire recipe can be made in your blender!
1) Puree the tomatoes, serrano chile, and half of the cubed watermelon in the blender together.
2) Pulse in the red wine vinegar and olive oil.
3) Add the minced red onion, cucumber and dill and pulse together.
4) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5) Puree until smooth.
6) Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta, and remaining watermelon cubes.
7) Enjoy!

Adapted from Tyler Florence

Sweet and Savory Broccoli

Fresh Broccoli at the Food Bank

Ingredients
1 pound broccoli florets
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black

Directions

  1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with water and ice.
  2. Add broccoli with a strainer to the boiling water, a handful at a time. Cook the broccoli for about 2 minutes until tender but still bright green.
  3. Quickly (and carefully) remove from boiling water with the strainer and place in the bowl of ice and water, immersing the broccoli completely for about two minutes. Remove broccoli from the ice water and rest it on a paper towel lined dish.
  4. Mix together Parmesan cheese and brown sugar (optional) in a bowl.
  5. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Toss in the broccoli, along with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir the broccoli and spices until coated. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. After removing the broccoli from the stove, sprinkle the parmesan sugar mixture over the top and enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 81 | Total Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: 2mg
Recipe adapted from  Allrecipes.com

Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars

Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars
from Kath Eats Real Food 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts [or any nuts you like]
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (any you like – raisins, cranberries, dates, figs)
  • 1/4 cup seeds (any you like – sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients.
  4. Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Cut into 9 squares.

Makes 9 servings . Each bar is appx. 170 calories, 3 grams fiber and 5 grams protein. [Cut into 12 squares reduces calories to about 125 calories per square]

While delicious, the only sweetness in these comes from the dried fruit. Add in 1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar if you like.

The variations are endless: cranberries, coconut, all kinds of dried fruit, nuts, etc.

“The food I receive helps me get by.”

Joann Medeiros is a retired San Francisco native on a fixed income. She is a volunteer and program participant at the Hosanna Celebration pantry in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. We met her at the pantry when she was working and she kindly shared her story with us.

Volunteering is my way of giving back. I volunteer at the Hosanna Celebration Pantry, but I also get groceries too. It’s wonderful here. I know so many people and it makes me feel good to help, to recognize the faces and talk to people, to give people food who need it. I understand what that’s like because I need the help, too.

I have lived my whole life in San Francisco — I’m a real San Franciscan, born and bred. About eighteen years ago, after working as a janitor and an in-home caretaker, I retired. At that time I was making $7.49 an hour. Now I’m living on an even more fixed income and it’s not always easy.

I’ve been helping at Hosanna for the last four years and right now my job is to hand people their produce. I wake up every morning and I feel good knowing that I’m helping people because of my work here at the pantry.

Each week I take home a bag of groceries from the pantry and stretch it to last the whole week. To make it last, I’ll buy a whole chicken, put it in a pot, then add the veggies I get here and make a stew. Stews are a good way to eat well for days.

The food I receive from the pantry helps me get by, helps me keep my budget on track. It’s not easy living on a fixed income in San Francisco, but I’m working to make it work. Every once in a while I can even treat myself to an afternoon matinee at the senior price of $6.50, but that’s a very big splurge.  When I can, it certainly is a nice treat.

Selecting Food for the Pantries

“Sometimes we get kabocha squashes that most people don’t recognize but we know our Asian agencies love. It’s about knowing who you are serving and what foods we have available and making the best matches.” – Barbara Lin, Program Manager.

When the Food Bank sends food out into the community we thoughtfully consider who is going to consume the food. By ensuring the food fits the diets of those in need, the pantries avoid wasting food and the experience is respectful of program participants.

Over seventy percent of the 43.5 million pounds of food distributed last year went out to the community through our network of farmers’ market-style neighborhood pantries. The pantries are located in places such as churches, schools and community centers throughout San Francisco and Marin. Different locations serve different types of people – small families, large intergenerational families, individuals and seniors.

No matter where the pantry is located, the Food Bank works to make sure there is enough food to feed everyone in need, and that everything is appropriate for the culture, age, and cooking ability of the particular community being served.

Program Manager Barbara Lin says, “Each pantry site lets us know what their clientele eats. For example, we don’t send grapefruit to senior communities because so many seniors take medications that negatively interact with grapefruit. Sometimes we get kabocha squashes that most people don’t recognize but we know our Asian agencies love. It’s about knowing who you are serving and what foods we have available and making the best matches.” These relationships with our pantries allow for the creation of a menu of foods customized for each pantry location.

Emily Citraro, Inventory and Allocations Coordinator, organizes what food will go into each pantry order, paying close attention to what is available in the warehouse, what the pantry wants, and even the freshness of the product. “If we have a supply of red tomatoes, I know they will not be as high quality in a week’s time, so I work to get them distributed right now.”

While considering what we have stocked on the warehouse shelves, Emily also looks to provide equitable distribution of foods across all the pantries we serve. “I plan the menus based on what we have by the truckloads. If a truck comes in full of a certain type of produce or beans, I stretch the inventory of whatever is on that truck to meet the needs of as many pantries as possible.”

But all this planning means nothing unless you have someone to gather the food together. Having received the food menu, Lead Order Builder Richard Faafiu and his team look at the list of pantries and the various food items and gather the food from throughout the warehouse. The forklifts and pallet-jacks travel through the warehouse, quickly assembling neat piles of food on wooden pallets for each pantry. Rich works hard to make sure everything on the menu is accounted for and looks presentable, and says “This food is going out to people who are hungry, and to pantry coordinators that work hard. The whole package should look good so people know there’s great food inside.”

Winter Warehouse

Many people are surprised to learn that winter is prime harvest time for many types of citrus. One look into our warehouse right now illustrates that season nicely. Our pantry orders are stocked with gorgeous citrus fruit!

Among the prime deliveries are easy-to-peel mandarin orange “cuties”, which are perfect for kids’ snacks at schools and after-school programs since they don’t require an adult to slice them. In addition to the cuties, we have a good assortment of other hand-held fruit such as pears and apples.

More than half of all of the food we distribute is fresh produce. Even through seasonal fluctuations, we work hard to keep our orders balanced.  Barbara Abbott, our Food Resources Manager explains, “We have a variety of winter vegetables right now – winter squash, potatoes onions, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, celery and carrots.” Every Monday this month we will also receive a full truckload of lettuce products and fully prepped cut vegetables from Yuma County. This month, we also received three truckloads of purchased bulk oats, pinto beans and black beans which our volunteers will package into 1lb easy-to-transport bags for our program participants.

We are excited to provide people in need nutritious foods year-round, and work hard to make sure there are staples and produce available each month, no matter the season.

WARMING WINTER ROOT VEGGIE RECIPE

Ingredients

  •  2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions
Cook vegetables separately in water until tender; drain. Melt butter; stir in remaining ingredients. Combine the vegetables and butter mixture; toss to coat. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Hunger Awareness Month at St. John’s

October was Hunger Awareness Month at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Presidio Heights. This project was a first for St. John’s, which has hosted its Harvest Food Pantry for the last 11 years.  The month featured events including a 31-day Hunger Challenge, a double-feature movie night, and a community pot luck.

“Hunger Awareness Month was a great opportunity for those in our congregation who don’t participate in our weekly Harvest Pantry to learn about the reality of hunger in our community, a serious issue our church is working on,” said Reverend Theresa Cho.

In October, the church’s regular activities had a hunger awareness theme. To spice things up they converted the monthly pot-luck into an opportunity to cook meals using recipes that met the Hunger Challenge budget. “The pot luck was interesting, because in some aspects it wasn’t as plush as our other pot lucks have been,” said Reverend Cho. “But it gave the opportunity to have some conversation about how challenging and difficult a food stamp budget is and how intentional you have to be with your shopping and eating on that budget.”

While this was the congregation’s first Hunger Awareness Month, Reverend Cho hopes the experience sparks a recurring tradition for years to come. “A large portion of our congregation includes families with young children, so a lot of the reaction has been ‘it’s so difficult!’ Trying to find the intention and energy to participate in the awareness month sparked great family conversations.”

The St. John’s community has been working with the Food Bank to feed families in their neighborhood for years through their Harvest Pantry. Now that Cho and her colleagues have decided to expand the hunger awareness work beyond the pantry, others are being exposed to the everyday issues of hunger. “Hopefully the experience shows you can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t guess who is living on food stamps. There are people in our congregation, even though we are in Presidio Heights, that may be living on a food stamp budget and we don’t even know.“

arrival for the pantry at St. John's

With the recent decline of the economy, many members of Cho’s congregation are feeling the pinch, including the church itself. But rather than cutting mission work, which Cho says is often “the first to go” from a church budget during tough times, St. John’s is putting more effort into helping feed their community. By focusing on a basic human issue such as hunger, “it’s helped our congregation discover what’s really important.”

As far as what others in the community can do to be hunger aware, Cho says, “For an individual it’s so simple to help out. It’s amazing that in two hours we can feed fresh produce to 300 families. Two hours out of your day and you’ve helped feed families. It’s that simple.”

Commenting on the success of St. John’s Harvest Pantry, Cho shared “I think people would be surprised at how easy it is to start a Food Bank pantry in your church, and I encourage other churches to get involved with the Food Bank. Everyone can help out in some way, whether it’s through donating, volunteering or hosting a pantry. Hunger is such a tangible and obvious need in the community, which is why it is an issue that anyone can get involved with.”

The Great Pumpkin Fundraiser

Six years ago, a then eight year-old from San Francisco named Wyeth Coulter had an idea that would grow to impact the lives of thousand at risk of hunger in our community.

He asked his parents if he could sell the pumpkins they had been growing on their land in Sonoma and donate the proceeds to local San Francisco nonprofits, including the Food Bank.  That first year, much to his surprise, he managed to raise $100 dollars.  At the time, he was blown away by how much he had raised on his own.

Fast-forward to present day, and the now 14 year-old Coulter and his schoolmate since kindergarten, Phillip Goss, are running a large-scale pumpkin selling operation with as many as 20 classmates at a time pitching in to help. Last year, they managed to raise more than $13,000 for local nonprofits.

While most middle students prefer to hang out at the mall, play video games and sleep in, Wyeth Coulter and Phillip Goss manage to break the mold.  Together, the two are learning what it takes to run a small business while helping others in need.  In preparing for each season, the two discuss what types of pumpkins they will plant, when they will harvest, how they will market to sell, how they will price, and the hours of operation to sell the pumpkins out of the Coulters San Francisco backyard.  In short, they are learning how to run a successful business.

The two attribute much of their success to the support they’ve received from the community.  “It’s amazing how many people have gotten involved to help out,” said Goss.  “Without the support, we’d probably still be bringing in around $100 per year,” adds Coulter.

In all, the boys have raised tens of thousands of dollars to support those in need in the community, with much of the money being given to the Food Bank.

How I Give: Busking for Good

Bill Hansell is a member of the Food Bank Board of Directors, and served on the Marin Food Bank board before the merger of the two organizations. You can catch him playing songs from many genres once monthly at the Marinwood and Glen Ellen farmers’ markets.

“Music is an integral part of my social life. Playing instruments and singing makes me feel good—especially when it encourages people to spend time together. Over the past couple of years, I’ve experienced a new way to bridge the separation between performer and audience.

A couple of years ago, I started playing live music at the Marinwood farmers’ market.  It was fun for me to play where people were already gathering locally and I invited other musicians to join me, too.  Collaborating with musicians of different ages and backgrounds was really fun and soon enough, people wanted to give us tips during the performance.

I wasn’t at all in it for the money, but I realized then that I had an opportunity to marry together music and fundraising. I was already inclined to perform, so it just made good sense to donate any money I could raise to a cause that I’m deeply involved with. I put a sign out by my guitar case with a note about 100% of the proceeds going to the Food Bank and people responded.

Adding the fundraising element really builds upon the satisfaction of performing. One market gig I played included hail and strong winds, but the market was still bustling and I knew that the Food Bank would benefit from my time there. Sure enough, people gave — and the momentum is growing!  My goal was to raise $1000 for the Food Bank through these small musical gatherings this year. As of July, we’ve already donated $800.

When the audience sees a cause related to the performance, it’s a good feeling multiplier.  It’s also a great funds multiplier – each dollar donation allows the Food Bank to distribute $6 worth of food. That quick trip to the farmers’ market brought food into each shopper’s home, and their donation during my performance means that food is also available to their neighbors in need. Music feeds the soul; fundraising for the Food Bank feeds the body.”

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