National Corn on the Cob Day is Sunday, August 16.
We’re celebrating with a delicious and healthy corn salsa recipe. What are some of your favorite ways to use corn on the cob?
Zesty Corn Salsa
2 large ears corn
1/4 red onion, diced
Can of black beans
2 ripe tomatoes, seeds slightly removed and diced
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
juice of one lime
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
To grill corn (preferably over charcoal for best flavor), leave the husk on and grill it first until charred. Then remove the husk and strings and put it back on the grill for a little color – 2-3 minutes – rolling to heat all sides.
Once grilled, slice corn off of the cob and add to bowl with remaining ingredients and stir.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, pepper or lime juice for added flavor.
Serve immediately. Will keep covered in the fridge for several days, but is best when fresh.
Toward the end of July, we were in Pitsburg, IL, and Warrenton, MO, for Food Fairs.
We distributed produce like carrots, potatoes, apples, radishes, and watermelons. We hope the recipes we collected will be a good resource for the community.
Kay’s Homemade Applesauce
7-10 Apples, peeled and cored
3-4 TBS lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
½ bag marshmallows
1 cup water
Place all ingredients in a pot and cook until apples are tender. Add water if needed. Mash.
Leonard’s Apple Crisps
1 pkg of crescent roll dough
3-4 apples peeled and chopped
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine apples, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl. Place crescent roll dough flat on a baking sheet, fill with a spoonful of apple mixture, fold dough over top of apple filling (it’s ok if the apple filling shows). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp.
5-6 potatoes peeled (optional) and cubed
1 pkg ranch seasoning
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix potato cubes with seasonings. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrot, shredded
10 radishes, shredded
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TBS malt vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
Combine cabbage, carrots, and radishes and mix well. Mix sugar, salt, vinegar, and mayonnaise until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour mayonnaise mixture over vegetables and toss thoroughly. Serve cold.
Have a good recipe to share? Looking for more ideas? Feel free to email your ideas to Maddie Smith, the Communications Coordinator at email@example.com.
During our June Food Fairs in Potosi, MO, and Carlyle, IL, we distributed over 45,000 pounds of food, including fresh produce like cabbage, potatoes, carrots and corn.
As we were preparing the distribution line, we asked multiple clients their favorite ways to cook the produce they were getting that day. Our goal is to make it easier for families that receive bulk produce distribution to come up with new and creative ways of preparing the food for their families.
Joe’s Homemade “Hamburger Helper”
3 potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 lb hamburger meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
Heat oil in a skillet and fry potatoes, onions, and hamburger meat together. Add the cream of mushroom and cream of celery to the skillet. Season to your liking using anything from salt and pepper to chili powder or garlic. Warm the mixture on the stove on low for 15 minutes.
Teresa’s Cole Slaw
1 head of cabbage
1 jar of mild banana peppers
Italian salad dressing
Salt and pepper
Chop cabbage, banana peppers and tomato. Toss together with Italian dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
3 lbs. corn
1/2 cup butter
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese
Combine corn, butter, and cream cheese in a crock pot and allow to melt together for a warm, tasty dish.
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
2 TBS olive oil
garlic salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375℉. Coat carrots in olive oil. Arrange on a baking pan and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
Summertime means fresh fruits and veggies at local farmers markets, in your own garden, and even right here at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
This week, the Foodbank held two food fairs – one-day food distributions to several hundred families in need. At those events, we were lucky enough to give out tens of thousands of pounds of fresh produce.
On Wednesday, Foodbank drivers and staff delivered 26,215 pounds of food to Owensville, Mo. Included in that food was an amazing 18,380 pounds of fresh produce!
On Thursday, Foodbank staff visited Irvington, Ill., where we handed out more than 26,000 pounds of food to more than 170 families.
At the food fair in this small Illinois town, individuals struggling with hunger received carloads of canned goods, fresh corn, cantaloupe, onions, watermelon, cabbage and potatoes. Check out the photos on Facebook »
We are especially grateful to the volunteers and pantry staff who help us hand out food on these hot summer days.
We are also grateful to you – the donors – who provide the funds we need to be able to provide fresh produce to families in need!
Would you like to help provide more healthy food for our communities most vulnerable families. Donate now »
By Bethany Prange
Communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
Volunteers load a vehicle with groceries at a recent Food Fair in Louisiana, Mo. / Photo by Bethany Prange
When you think of small towns, it’s easy to picture the Americana image portrayed in good country songs.
Just take a drive through a rural farming town, and you’ll likely see the quaint downtown square, the little white church, and the barber shop where everybody knows your name.
What you won’t see – at least as a casual passerby – is the struggle that many small town families face. Just like their urban counterparts, rural families face issues like hunger and poverty.
While the “country image” may add a veil of old-world charm to the strife faced by rural families, it doesn’t make living in poverty any easier for the men, women and children who deal with it every day.
In Louisiana, Mo., a rural town with a population of almost 3,800 people, the reality of hunger and poverty is evident.
Like many small towns, Louisiana is far from an urban metropolis. While this is good for those wanting to live the country life, it can make getting every day necessities a challenge. Rural families rely on the assets of their own communities to get by.
So when the only grocery store in Louisiana closed recently, it left many families wondering how they’d be able to buy food. The nearest store is now 20 miles away, and for many, the extra gas needed to get there is not in the budget.
If a store closes in an urban community rich with dozens of places to buy groceries, it doesn’t necessarily make a huge impact. But in a small town where many families don’t even have access to a reliable car, the closing of the only store can mean the difference between having food and going hungry.
Another issue presented by rural living is a lack of social service agencies. In St. Louis, families in need literally have hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs to help them get through tough times.
In a rural community though, there may be only one food pantry in the entire county.
While we can’t solve the problems faced by rural families, the St. Louis Area Foodbank wants to help as much as possible. When we learned of the grocery store closing in Louisiana, we knew we had to provide families in need with some extra help.
This Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, we delivered more than 32,000 pounds of food to Louisiana, Mo. With the help of our partner agency there, Heart to Heart Community Outreach, we gave that food to almost 150 families in need.
Despite the chill in the air, families in need lined up hours ahead of time, waiting for their turn. Students from Louisiana High School helped load cars with potatoes, meat, bread and baby food.
In just three hours, all that food went to rural families who desperately need it.
Foodbank staff are glad we could provide some relief to this small town, even if our efforts can’t solve all the problems of rural life.
We hope another grocery store will consider opening in Louisiana soon.
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank
Volunteers help bag food at a recent mobile distribution in Warren County / Photo by Bethany Prange
As we celebrate another holiday season, many of us are consumed with thoughts of family gatherings and the scrumptious feast that lies ahead of us.
Visions of turkeys, hams, roasts, side dishes, casseroles, dinner rolls and pies dance through our heads and leave us fully anticipating days when we can stuff our bellies and drift off into a turkey-induced slumber.
But for some members of our community, the only vision that can be seen this holiday season, and every other day of the year, is that of an empty table, scarce food and very little reason for celebration.
Those who suffer from mental illness, have fallen on hard times or live in poverty are struggling to survive day-to-day. These individuals often find the holidays an added source of stress and anxiety.
Not only does daily life create challenges that seem insurmountable but getting through each day seems to take every ounce of energy they can muster.
As parents, they are faced with the challenge of providing not just enough food to feed their children, but finding access to nourishing food that will help their children live fuller, healthier lives.
Unfortunately, many of the families that participate in Crider Health Center’s programs and services struggle to meet life’s most basic necessities. They struggle to put enough food on their tables to sustain their family.
This holiday season, Crider Health Center joined forces with the St. Louis Area Foodbank to provide nourishing, health-conscious food to 80 families in Warren County. We were honored to provide this service for families who needed an added dose of hope this holiday season.
Luckily, this partnership isn’t one that will fade when the holidays have come and gone – it is a gift that will keep giving and providing for Warren County families for years to come.
Without the generosity of the St. Louis Area Foodbank and their donors, many Crider families would not have the ability to put a healthy meal on their tables, much less an entire holiday feast.
But through this newly formed partnership, our Warren County families have a reason to celebrate, a reason to smile, and one more reason to have HOPE for the future.
Pam Imboden is the Marketing and Development Manager at Crider Health Center
Volunteers at Matthew 25 Ecumenical Food Pantry bag up fresh cabbage during a recent St. Louis Area Foodbank Mobile Market / Photo by Bethany Prange
It’s a sunny Monday in Carlyle, Ill., and the cars have been lining up since 6 a.m.
Five hours later, the line of cars stretches halfway through this small town in Clinton County as families patiently wait for the food they need.
Today is mobile market day at Matthew 25 Ecumenical Food Pantry, a day when families struggling with hunger can receive fresh produce, dairy and bakery via a special delivery from the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
On the third Monday of every month, a Foodbank truck arrives at the pantry, filled with fresh food that must immediately go out to those who need it.
Soliciting highly-nutritious fresh food means the Foodbank constantly faces the possibility of expiration. For instance, if we bring in a truckload of fresh tomatoes that are already very ripe, we must distribute those tomatoes to families in need immediately to make sure they get eaten.
That’s where mobile markets come in. Items that are close to expiration – or even just fresh items we have an abundance of – are delivered in bulk to one of our 500 partner agencies. Agency volunteers then immediately give the food out to families in need.
On Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, Matthew 25 Ecumenical Food Pantry and the people of Carlyle were ready and willing to take their 14,910 pounds of fresh produce.
More than 20 volunteers spent several hours in the church parking lot, sorting and re-bagging the veggies before handing it out to the families waiting in the line of cars.
The Foodbank truck brought cabbage, carrots, red bell peppers, veggie dip, cucumbers, zucchini, red potatoes, white potatoes and sweet potatoes. A regular veggie smorgasbord!
“It’s usually always vegetables, fruit, bakery and dairy,” says David Huene, director of Matthew 25 Ecumenical Food Pantry. “We don’t get a lot of fresh produce other than the mobile market.”
Pantry volunteers spread word about the mobile market by telling the 220 families who visit the pantry’s normal distribution day on the first Wednesday of the month.
The need is certainly evident. On Aug. 20, Huene counted 250 families in line at the mobile market.
“If it wasn’t for the food pantry, we wouldn’t have made it,” says one client named Sherry. “My husband got hurt and couldn’t work. They’ve been so good to us.”
Sherry spent her Monday volunteering at the mobile market, anxious to help others get the food they need. As she handed out bags of carrots to families waiting in line, Sherry offered a kind word to each driver who passed.
“I get food for other families with kids,” Sherry says. “They’re so grateful to have anything to feed their kids.”
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank
Ashlyn Brewer helps unload corn from a St. Louis Area Foodbank truck during a recent Food Fair in Warrenton, Mo. / Photo by Bethany Prange
Since last November, I’ve been volunteering with the Foodbank as part of the Social Media Avengers group. Until today, that meant providing blog training, sharing content from my networks, and brainstorming social media strategy over drinks at the Luna Lounge. That’s not a tough job description for a volunteer, especially for such a good cause.
But today was the first time I ever really saw the face of hunger in St. Louis. I attended a food fair put on by the Foodbank, and was actually able to put food into the hands (and cars) of people who really need it. Bethany told our group that these events really put things into perspective, but I couldn’t have predicted the impact it would have on me.
The things that made the biggest impression on me were:
1. The sheer amount of people willing to wait hours in line for food. Our Social Media Avengers caravan arrived more than an hour before we were scheduled to hand out food. But we weren’t the first ones there. Cars were already starting to line up for food. Briefly, I worried that the heat might keep people away. But by the time we unloaded all the food pallets from the refrigerated trucks, I could no longer see the end of the line of cars. In total, we provided more than 150 families with food in just a two-hour period.
2. The commitment of Foodbank staff and volunteers. As you might have noticed, we’re in the middle of a hellish heat wave. Still, more than 30 volunteers came to the event in Warrenston to hand out food. We all came together with one goal – fill all the cars with food as efficiently as possible. People waited hours for that food, and no one wanted to make them wait a moment more than necessary. Because of the intense heat, volunteers kept an eye on each other, making sure everyone was drinking plenty of water and getting out of the sun when possible.
3. The diversity of food each family received. When I think of the Foodbank and food drives, I often think simple, non-perishable items like canned beans and macaroni and cheese. But fighting hunger in St. Louis takes a lot of different kinds of food. We handed out bread, bushels of corn, crates of bananas, pizzas, crackers, and household items like toilet paper. I got the best job – handing out candy. Certainly, the healthy food the other stations had is more important to a hungry individual’s well-being. But everyone deserves to enjoy dessert after a balanced meal, and I was psyched to see the delight on kids’ faces when I handed them a bag of sweets.
4. The kids. From now on, when I think about hunger in St. Louis, I’m going to think about the kids in those cars. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a child to wait in a car, on a hot day, for something most of us get in one quick trip to the grocery store. And while you can hardly go to the grocery store without at least one run-in with an unruly child, I didn’t see a single child cry or whine the entire day.
5. Hunger in St. Louis is real. Intellectually, I’ve known about the hunger problem in our region since I moved here in 2010. The Foodbank has done an excellent job helping the community understand the problem we face. But there’s something about seeing it face-to-face that changes everything. It was immediately clear to me that no one would wait that long, sitting in a parking lot on a hot day, if they didn’t really need the food.
The Foodbank is working hard to solve the problem of hunger in St. Louis, but we all must be willing to be part of the solution. The food you donate or box up on a Foodbank volunteer shift all goes to real people, who really need it. The time and money you donate helps solve a critical problem facing our community.
As of today, hunger in St. Louis is real, but the Foodbank, and all of us, can work toward making it just a memory.
Ashlyn Brewer is a marketing associate at Standing Partnership and a St. Louis Area Foodbank Social Media Avenger