Mom’s Recipe

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Alyssa Ficke, in her Reno kitchen, adds finishing touches to beef teriyaki with broccoli for UNR students

Local mother delivers her home-cooked meals to UNR students.

In 2019, when Alyssa Ficke’s youngest daughter, Evy, was a freshman attending the University of Nevada, Reno, Evy lived at Circus Circus Reno because her dorm room in Argenta Hall was not available due to a boiler explosion. Like the other 1,300 students displaced by the disaster, Evy had a hard time accessing quality food. Many of her peers were even foregoing nutritious fare because it was just too difficult to get.

Alyssa quickly became friends, through a Facebook group page, with a few parents of Evy’s fellow students who lived outside the Reno-Tahoe area. After messaging back and forth about their food concerns, Alyssa began receiving requests to cook for students.

“Parents would give me a favorite recipe, and I would cook it for the student and deliver it to them,” Alyssa explains. “It escalated from there to a weekly thing where people were reaching out and asking me to deliver to the students. Now I cook every Sunday. That’s where Made for You with Mom’s Recipe began.”

55 Full Bellies

With the capacity to cook up to 55 meals weekly, Alyssa posts each Wednesday what she will be making and typically finds herself closing the call for orders from parents.

“I cook on a large scale and like to make various casseroles and other meals from scratch,” she notes. “I do things like taco casserole or homemade mac and cheese with vegetables, and homemade desserts.”

Lauren Paul, Alyssa’s sister, bakes all of the sweet treats, including favorites such as chocolate-chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cup cookies. For birthdays or special occasions, the duo delivers personalized cakes along with meals.

“Food choices have not always been that great or easy to get,” Alyssa explains. “Having a home-cooked meal using high-quality ingredients that’s delivered to students brings a touch of home. Knowing that their parents have purchased the meals on their behalf is a nice reminder of home. The students love it.”

Each meal is $12, which covers the cost of the groceries and fuel for deliveries. Made for You with Mom’s Recipe also accepts donations for gratis meals that are given to students anonymously. For details, find Made for You with Mom’s Recipe on Facebook.

Freelance writer Heidi Bethel remembers her days studying at UNR and wishes there had been an option like this back then. After all, there’s nothing better than the comfort of mama’s cooking.

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