Our First Period Packing Party

By: Kailin Mooney 

“The fact that menstruation is a taboo topic to begin with, means that people who are able [to] help, often aren’t even aware that such a vast need exists.”

Robyn asked if I would consider guest blogging about a visionary benefit house party we both attended a few weeks back. This particular event was a first for UDFB – a volunteer coordinated drive for feminine hygiene and baby products that coincided with an open community repack party hosted by two of our community members.

Adela and Mern were disheartened after reading a recent article written by Eleanor Goldberg for the Huffington Post, which exposes the heartbreaking difficulties facing homeless women each month. In her article, Goldberg points out, “The fact that menstruation is a taboo topic to begin with, means that people who are able [to] help, often aren’t even aware that such a vast need exists.” In response, Marian and Adela reached out, inspiring over 30 people to donate and repack tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and larger sized diapers! They even had baby wipes to add to each package of diapers and unused make-up, tooth brushes and toothpaste to add to the feminine hygiene bundles.

At UDFB, feminine hygiene products are highly sought after and are a rare donation. Customers often quietly scan the shelves behind our check out stations for signs that we might have pads or tampons before quietly requesting them for themselves or family members. Relief is clear when we have items to provide. Thanks to Adela, Mern and all of the donors and volunteers who participated in their event, our shelves were stocked throughout the month of October, and we expect, will remain so well into November.

Our gratitude runs deep. People who see a need and take action keep our doors open, our shelves stocked, and our hearts full. Thank you Adela, Mern and our incredible community of supporters for all you do for UDFB each and every day. We couldn’t do this work without you.

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Flavors of Fall in the Food Bank

Fall is upon us, and for me, there is no better time to cook seasonally and resourcefully. As we begin receiving large quantities of fresh vegetables through our purchasing contract with a local farm (see previous blog post), we’ve distributed a couple new recipe cards both in the food bank and in our Home Delivery boxes to give folks some inspiration about using these veggies in simple, versatile ways.

1. Buttercup Squash Soup

This soup is full of sweet, hearty winter squash and veggies that are staples in the food bank like potatoes, carrots, and onions. Buttercup squash is also delicious cut in half, filled with diced apples and cinnamon, and roasted.

Recipe adopted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/buttercup-soup-recipe.html

Recipe adopted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/buttercup-soup-recipe.html

Ingredients:

3 tbsps. butter

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 potato, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 buttercup squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped

4 cups chicken stock or water

1/2 cup cream or milk 

Instructions:

In a large pot, melt butter and cook onions until tender.

Stir in carrots and jalapeno, toss to coat. Stir in chopped squash.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a summer. Simmer for 30 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Puree soup in blender in batches.

Return to pot and stir in cream. Season to taste. 

 

2. Raw Beet & Broccoli Slaw

This slaw uses broccoli stalks instead of florets for extra crunch. The recipe is very flexible and can be made with any of your favorite crunchy vegetable such as carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, or jicama. For those wary of raw beets, you can roast them in advance before grating!

beetslaw

Ingredients:

2 beets

2 broccoli stems

1/2 cup red onion

1/4 cup oil

3 tbsps. apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice

1 tsp. sugar

Salt & Pepper

Optional additions: Cooked chickpeas, raisins, toasted nuts

Instructions:

1. Grate or slice all veggies thinly

2. Combine all ingredients in bowl and season to taste

3. Chill in fridge at least 1 hour before serving.