Maryland Food Bank Opens Kitchen To Turn Leftovers Into Meals | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Maryland Food Bank Opens Kitchen To Turn Leftovers Into Meals

Play associated audio
The new commercial kitchen at the Maryland Food Bank will turn hotel and hospital food donations into a million meals a year for needy families.
Cathy Duchamp
The new commercial kitchen at the Maryland Food Bank will turn hotel and hospital food donations into a million meals a year for needy families.

By Cathy Duchamp

The Maryland Food Bank is putting the finishing touches on a commercial kitchen that will feed needy families and train people for culinary jobs, by recycling food.

Aida Blanco used to run the kitchen at the Crystal City Hilton in Arlington Virginia. One thing that really bugged her: what to do with all that food leftover from conferences?

"It would kill me to throw it away," says Blanco.

Blanco has turned her obsession with leftovers into a full-time job, as head chef at the Maryland Food Banks’s new commercial kitchen.

"Lets say we got 10,000 lbs. of tomatoes. We can turn it into sauce, soups, ziti, lasagna, just endless opportunities," she says.

The D.C. Central Kitchen was the nation’s first program to turn surplus food into meals for needy families. Job training is a big part of that project. It will be too at the Maryland Food Bank.

Blanco will teach 100 people a year how to make frozen dinners that take minutes to cook. That’s the clincher for Maryland Food Bank chief Deborah Flateman.

"Low income people are busier than we are, because some of them are working two or three jobs. They want to sit down with their kids and have a family meal. And that’s what this will allow them to do. They can have it in the microwave, heat it up, snip it open and you’ve got supper," says Flateman.

Flateman says that convenience will make daily life for low income families easier.

NPR

From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.
NPR

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

The Potato Chip Lady, aka Myrtle Young, died in August of this year. She was 90. Young became famous after showing her collection of unusually shaped chips to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in 1987.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.