Lasagna Love last week exceeded a set forth goal to break its existing record for lasagna meals delivered. The majority volunteer-operated non-profit that connects neighbors through homemade meal delivery surpassed its 5,000 pan National Lasagna Day goal by delivering 6,057 lasagnas in one week. The achievement brings Lasagna Love’s total deliveries to 105,505 pans since its inception in March 2020, positively impacting more than 428,000 lives.
Menn’s original act of kindness—delivery of a warm pan of lasagna—has been replicated, celebrated, and leveraged to cross all language and cultural barriers. The concept of preparing and delivering a meal to a community member ignited an organic movement of such magnitude that during Lasagna Love’s National Lasagna Day events, the organization grew by another 500 new chef volunteers.
“Even as we emerge from the pandemic, acts of kindness will forever be a welcome sight, We envision an ongoing need not only to feed families but spread kindness during a time when uncertainty about many things remains high. One small act of comfort can change a mindset.” -Rhiannon Menn
Rao’s Homemade®, a leading producer of premium pasta sauces, and Pastene, a leading importer of authentic Italian foods and ingredients, signed on as National Lasagna Day partners, donating ingredients to create homemade lasagnas. Their generosity ensured that thousands of Lasagna Love volunteers were able to deliver meals to individual families as well as to community support organizations including Easter Seals, veteran’s
- California: In San Diego, “lasagna chefs” pooled resources to feed the homeless at Father Joe’s Village (400 single servings). Menlo Park chefs made and delivered multiple lasagnas to the Willow Veterans Housing Community, while southern California chefs collaborated with both Gold Coast Veterans and Buddy Nation to provide 55 individual lasagna meals to homeless veterans.
“I have always been involved with organizations that make a difference in people’s lives,” said Lasagna Love volunteer Freddi Pakier of San Diego. “As a child of Holocaust survivors, food and cooking were an important part of my upbringing. Plus, I love to cook. Knowing I can bring love, caring and kindness to someone with a lasagna is heartwarming to me.
- Virginia: In Fairfax County, lasagna chefs delivered to the Fairfax County Fire stations plus a local homeless shelter.
- Indiana: Fort Wayne-based lasagna chefs made and delivered meals to Mentoring Moms, an organization serving women and children in crisis, while chefs in Northwest Indiana delivered more than 70 lasagnas to residents in the city of Hammond.
Lasagna Love which recently expanded beyond America’s borders to Puerto Rico and Canada, welcomes new volunteer chefs who participate as much or as little as desired — whether one-time, weekly, or monthly—to prepare and deliver meals. Delivering kindness in the form of a lasagna or other entrée not only dents food insecurity but provides support and kindness to those contending with challenge, whether defined by job loss, pandemic fatigue, or general overwhelm.
“National Lasagna Day was the perfect milestone holiday for us to attach such an audacious goal,” said Rhiannon Menn, founder and Chief Lasagna Mama, Lasagna Love. “With mounting eviction concerns, unemployment statistics and ongoing COVID fears, our volunteers are experiencing a greater call to serve. Our hope is not only to continue to support communities in which our volunteers reside but extend our reach where greater need exists. Brand donations have played an instrumental role in our development and we are grateful to Rao’s Homemade and Pastene for believing in our mission and collaborating with us to feed more families.”