Not Just Green Beans

16 Jul

I think many families come to campus, having just moved and sometimes having just gotten married or are living away from family for the first time.  It can take them a long time to get acclimated to all the campus has to offer.  The Food Bank is one of those things.  Most everyone at one point or another realizes they can come to the Food Bank and get an array of canned and dry goods.  However, I didn’t know for many months that EVERY Saturday (not just the Saturdays that the Food Bank is open for staples) there is dairy, produce and packaged bread.  You have to get up early for a Saturday and you must have a bit of time to take care of the food once you get it home, but it can stretch your budget beyond what you can imagine!  For instance, this is the bounty I picked up for FREE this morning at the food bank:

It’s kind of like Christmas every Saturday.  You don’t know what you are going to get.  Most things are close to expiration, however, if you are resourceful you can use them.  The orange juice expires in 3 days.  We will probably drink it by then, but if we don’t I will freeze it in ice cube trays to make the kids orange juice slushies on a hot day.  The milk expires Sunday.  It will easily be gone by then, but typically we have found we can use the milk three or four days past expiration and it doesn’t loose quality.

I also got eggs.  Generally the eggs are very fresh, the only catch is they may have one or two broken eggs in the carton.  I simply keep empty cartons and then place the good eggs in the cartons before putting them in the fridge (being sure to wash off any “egg goo” from the broken eggs if there is any).

For the produce, if you are a smoothie lover you can find all kinds of fruit great for freezing immediately for smoothies.  In fact I may use the great Greek yogurt I got for those.  You need to bring home your produce and immediately do something with it.  For example, the grapes and strawberries had to be washed and the bad ones thrown away.  I do that as soon as I get home and package them in the fridge so we can easily grab them for snacks or at meal time.  Here are my grapes after sorting:

The apple slices and also the whole apples looked as fresh as I could go get at the store.  I got some mushrooms and some guacamole.  I got a cherry cobbler, a loaf of bread and some delicious looking 9 grain rolls (great for my new found need to use pasta!).  A special treat there today….fresh flowers!  They looked beautiful and it was a nice blessing to get those to make our table happy.

For best selection, get there at 8:30 and help unload the van and put the goods out.  You won’t be sorry and feeding your family is worth it!

Next up will be a post about all the great vegetables and herbs growing all over our campus that are just yours for the picking!


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