GREENSBORO, N.C.--A Greensboro church is proving that what you can find at your local pantry or lying in your cupboard, can be made into a cheap, yummy meal. Saturday, New Jerusalem Cathedral held a grand opening celebration of its new food pantry. The event included more than a dozen dishes that were inexpensive to make and required simple ingredients.
"With the economy like it is right now, every penny counts, every dime counts, everything counts. So, what we wanted them to understand is that it doesn't take a whole lot of money to prepare a meal; you just have to know how to economically proportion it," said Dian Williams, secretary of the pantry.
Former single mom of three, Minister Pam Turner said she had to learn to think outside the grocery box, bag or can to keep her kids fed. "I had to learn how to improvise by creating meals that were healthy, were filling and that could stretch a couple days," said Turner. She made her beeferoni and chili to bring to the Saturday event.
For the chili, she said, "it's very inexpensive. We have kidney beans in it, pinto beans in it, I actually used spaghetti sauce in order to compensate for tomato paste."
Williams described another simple dish, succotash. "In it, you've got your corn, your okra. These are items that are usually sitting on your shelves at the end of the month." She said put it over rice, and "one bag of rice can feed a family of five, six people."
Organizers said if you're looking to donate to a food pantry the items that get the most mileage in meals are canned meats, sauces, vegetables along with pasta, rice and potatoes.
New Jerusalem Cathedral's food pantry will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for donations and pick-ups.