Delivery service feeds stomachs and souls.
Is your overwhelming schedule making home-cooked meals a forgotten tradition? Perhaps balancing school, work, and family members’ schedules doesn’t leave enough time for grocery shopping and dinner prep. Or maybe the struggle is financial, with dollars stretched so thinly that planning nutritious dinners is a challenge. Regardless of the stressors in your life, the volunteers behind Lasagna Love are dedicated to helping you out — with a free delivery of delicious comfort food, no questions asked.
“Lasagna Love’s motto is Feed Families, Spread Kindness, Strengthen Communities,” says Jeff Haseltine, regional director for Lasagna Love. With more than 25,000 volunteers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia, the organization’s leaders aim to spread a little cheer by taking dinner prep, and its associated costs, off your plate. Anyone can sign up, and volunteers doing the work are happy to cook for area families.
The group, the local Reno-Tahoe chapter of which was started in January 2021, was first established in Massachusetts in May 2020. As families were struggling with the effects of COVID-19 — whether financially, emotionally, or otherwise — Rhiannon Menn wanted to lend a hand.
“She wanted to help friends and family who were losing their jobs, losing childcare, etc. due to COVID-19, so she created a post on Facebook telling her friends that she would cook and deliver a lasagna to anyone who was struggling or just needed some stress relief,” Haseltine says.
While Menn had some takers, she also had a lot of people who wanted to help her cause by signing up to make lasagnas, too. Now the organization operates in hubs where volunteers set their own limits on how many lasagnas they can provide per week as well as how far they are willing to drive to make deliveries. The brand really took off when The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and other outlets picked up the story.
“The Lasagna Love movement has experienced exponential growth,” Haseltine says. “To date, more than 150,000 lasagnas have been delivered to families in need of some extra love and kindness.”
In the Reno-Tahoe area, 63 lasagnas have been delivered, and the number of volunteers currently outweighs demand.
“Each week we usually have some volunteers who don’t get ‘matched’ due to lack of requests in their area,” Haseltine says.
The goal is to spread the love and get more people utilizing the service, reducing their own stress levels, and giving eager volunteers a purpose.
Nora Heston Tarte is a local food writer based in Reno. You can follow her local and travel exploits on Instagram @Wanderlust_n_wine.