Volunteering at Food Bank Plus Recipes for Carrots & Yams

Monday we had the privilege to volunteer at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Carlos.  It really kept things in perspective as we joined together There were 6 of us from SummerHill plus other volunteers that come regularly.  We were only there for 2 hours and really I could have stayed for 3 or 4 at least.  The warehouse is large and it is amazing how much healthy, quality food they are able to deliver to people in need.

In these economic times, there are certainly more people than ever who don’t know how they will be putting their next meal on the table.  We learned that the Food Bank helps people complete the paperwork to receive food stamps, which amazingly are now debit cards.  Then they give the families a weeks worth of food the end of the month when they need it most.  $450 a month on a debit card really doesn’t go far for a family.

It was humbling to sort and pack carrots and yams.  We had to determine if they good enough to distribute or if they had passed their prime.  It was not easy work, definitely exerted physical energy, but it was almost worth it to have a sore muscle or two to remember that we are really quite fortunate.

All those carrots and yams got me thinking about how to make healthy dishes that are also relatively inexpensive.   After all, we could probably all use a bit of cost savings this year.  So here are a few recipes that I found searching the web from a few of my favorite cooking sites (Epicurious and Food Network):

Pot Roast with Carmelized Onions and Roasted Carrots (Epicurious)

Glazed Carrots (Food Network, Alton Brown)

Carrot Salad (Food Network, Bobby Flay)

Garnet Yam Puree (Epicurious)

Roasted Yams with Creme Fraiche and Chives (Epicurious) – substituting sour creme for the creme fraiche plus green onions for the chives would save money.

Maple-Glazed Yam Stars (Food Network, Bob Blumer) – pretty sure you could use any cookie cutter shape you have on hand

p.s. I haven’t tried any of these recipes myself yet.

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