'Lasagna Lady' for her job, now cooking free meals for first responders and friends

‘Lasagna Lady’ for her job, now cooking free meals for first responders and friends

So far, it has made more than 1,275 pans of lasagna for friends, neighbors, first responders, and anyone who needs a good fresh meal, without charging anyone.

For Brenner, this is a labor of love and no plan to stop.

“I knew it was time to go back to the people who opened the way of life to have 45 years of life in my life,” CNN said. Said.

About six years ago, Brenner, who moved to Gig Harbor in Washington, was laid off at a men’s clothing store after the Covid-19 hit. He quickly realized that he wasn’t very good sitting.

He said he decided to help the old members of his community and those who could not go out and shop for themselves because of the pandemic.

So he signed up to shop for Instacart. He only worked with the grocery delivery app for two days – but during this time he noticed an item that his customers wanted: frozen lasagna.

One of these customers was a man in his nineties. When Brenner handed her frozen lasagna and other items to her, she admitted that she had no fresh food in almost a month and a half.

He then inspired Brenner to shop for his own grocery and collect his family’s ingredients to make a fresh lasagna based on his grandmother’s recipe.

“Frozen lasagna isn’t a cure,” he said. “I’m not a fan of frozen lasagna. I’m very Italian.”

After his meal got out of the oven, Brenner jumped to Facebook to do what others did throughout the quarantine: Share the home cooked meal on social media. In his article, Brenner offered to make lasagna and deliver it free to anyone who wants it.

When he got enough requests, he went to the shop and spent $ 1,200 on incentive control and started cooking.

He made more than 130 lasagna and distributed them to those who wanted it for free.

“The whole point is to spread this sense of society wherever possible with the comfort of lasagna,” he said. “I mean, I don’t want anyone to have a look, because the reality is there are people who can’t afford a dollar.”

Single woman operation

This is a one-woman surgery. Brenner does all the cooking from eight to 14 hours a day. He spent the last 90 days working without a day.

“Many of us go to work and want to go home right away … and I have never had this feeling,” said the last cooking effort.

Brenner started her operation at her own home, forced her kitchen to the limit, and set up a contactless food pantry in her front yard.

Food cellar Michelle Brenner installed in front yard

He recently said that he used it free of charge from a commercial kitchen at the Gig Harbor Sportsman club and allowed him to expand his operation.

The process of distributing the lasagna allowed Brenner to see firsthand the impact of his work.

A family said that he was crying when he came to Easter, because without lasagna and other treats, they said they did not have enough money to celebrate the holiday this year. Another man fed by Brenner recently said that he had lost both his father and his little son to Covid-19. One woman told Brenner that she was donating lasagna to nurses who were taking care of her mother in an Alzheimer’s ward.

Brenner said he feels that his lasagna provides more than nourishment: It creates an opportunity for family members to connect.

“It’s a family meal, it’s time to sit together, making memories, these conversations,” he said. “Something you will remember the rest of your life for.”

Michelle Brenner

Although he distributed the lasagna for free, many of his community wanted to step in. They decided to organize a series of fundraising online to help Brenner continue the operation. In the past nine weeks, Brenner said they had collected over $ 23,000 for him – which turned into 1,275 pans of lasagna.

Brenner said he did not plan to stop making lasagna for others, even though he did not know what would happen when furlough was over. He called his lasagna making experience “a dream come true” for his community.

“People are asking, ‘Are you tired?’ Says Brenner, “and I’m going, ‘you know, I don’t have time to think about it, I have lasagna to do it.’ “

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