By Deanna Collins-Ellyson
When I began diving into learning more about The Pantry, I recall Kolbi making the statement of a possible problem that could arise with The Pantry meals; boredom. Hearing this actually brought some relief. I’m not entirely sure why; maybe the whole idea behind The Pantry just seemed too good to be true. All I knew was the her concern was legit. It was something I never thought of, and I appreciated her honesty. However- I tucked it into the back of my mind with no intention of directly attacking this issue.
That was until, of course, the good Lord knew it was time to remind me.
I made the red beans and rice meal after deciding I was going to dedicate to being part of the change however I could. Something had come up for the next two days, so I knew I had to do something with the red beans and rice so it didn’t go to waste; FREEZE IT! But how? A giant bowl of red beans and rice didn't seem like the right answer.
Then a simple solution came to me; that light bulb moment...or again, the good Lord! So off to the store for some tortillas and cilantro and I was ready to whip up some HEALTHY frozen burritos!
What I love most about these is that they were hand made and WAY healthier (and lets not forget CHEAPER) than any store bought. I had no idea what would become of this, but I knew I had something exciting to share with someone. So, I started snapping photos and making some mental notes. As I was whipping these bad boys up, I was thinking about the other benefits this simple meal provided, not just food for our bellies. Something I never thought a “pantry” would gift me with.
(1) The desire to please the Lord by offering a solution to one concern.
(2) I often don’t get the opportunity to eat a healthy meal or two; mommyhood right? But being able to turn a simple meal into an easy, quick, AND healthy option that JUST so happens to be a top favorite food of mine, actually eased some anxiety for me. The entire feeling of relief was more than I can really put into words, and I don’t struggle as much as many others do when it comes to getting food on the table, so I could just imagine a sense of relief for someone not as well off as myself. I was eager, in that moment, to tell someone else!
(3) FAMILY! When the ideas were flowing, I was thinking about things my family would want to add to these burritos. That led me to thinking about the other meals The Pantry offers and how my family could have an input in revamping them for our family so we didn’t get bored. THIS provided some communication that wouldn’t have been had between us. Bonding that wouldn’t have been had. Love. Growth. Opinions were mattering, confidence was building, imaginations were rolling (yeah if you have young ones, watch out for what they want to put in it haha).
These things you would never really be at the forefront of you mind when simply receiving food from any pantry.
If numbers are your thing, here is an average cost breakdown (plus some other optional ingredient costs):
3 cups of rice $0.80
1 pound of beans $1.00
TOTAL - $10.90 or $0.36 per burrito!
Even if you go crazy and add all of these things:
Tomatoes (2) $1.00
Avocado (3) $3.00
Cheese (8 oz) $2.50
You will have still only spent $18.90 or $0.63 per burrito!
Please comment to let us know if you have changed up any Pantry recipes or if you try this one!
The mission of The Pantry is to reduce food insecurity in and empower residents of Mid-Missouri. We will achieve this by providing our guests with ingredients for complete meals along with easy to follow recommendations to help achieve self-sufficiency. It is vital to our organization that all members of our community are welcome; therefore we have no income, identification, or geographic requirements.
This place is amazing. No exclusions. Good fresh food that is so yummy! Friendly people who want nothing more than to help you. - Lindsey
I love The Pantry because this is food that I can eat. I have Crohn's disease, so I can't eat all the processed foods other places give out. - Rebecca
This is changing the way my family eats and everyone is happier! - anonymous