Stock the freezer, help food pantry

KINGSTON – Learn to prepare healthy meals you can store in your freezer and help a good cause all at the same time.

Lisa Metzler, a local representative with Wildtree Freezer Meals, is sponsoring four fundraising workshops for the Genoa-Kingston food pantry at Crossroads Community Church on April 9 and 13.

"We don't have a grocery store within 12 miles of us (in Genoa)," Metzler said. "We can't just run to the grocery store when we need something. (Freezer meals are) really a benefit for them."

Participants must purchase a $75 package of spices and oils from Metzler by Wednesday, March 27. A portion of proceeds will benefit the food pantry. Metzler will email participants a list of groceries they'll need to purchase for the meals. If they want, she said they can call Nick Lawrence, the meat manager at Hy-Vee in Sycamore, at 815-756-6174 to get meat cut and trimmed.

"She gave me a list of proteins," Lawrence said. "We'll freeze it and bag it."

All the meals will be assembled at the workshops. It takes about an hour, Metzler said, to combine the meat, vegetables and spices into 10 freezer meals, including honey balsamic chicken drumsticks, chipotle lime fajitas, smoked mozzarella chicken with pasta, Italian flank steak and Spanish-style garlic shrimp.

Metzler said she got the idea for the fundraiser when her son needed help from the pantry and she discovered they could use some assistance, particularly with paper products.

"I thought I'll try and do something to help out," she said. She hopes to do regular fundraisers for the pantry.

A representative of the food pantry declined to comment.

Freezer Meal Workshops

10 a.m. and 7 p.m. April 9

10 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 13

Crossroads Community Church, 2040 Johnson Court, Kingston

Call 815-739-3865 or email by Wednesday, March 27 to register. Cost is $75, plus the cost of groceries to create 10 freezer meals. Proceeds benefit the Genoa-Kingston Food Pantry.

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