Some people hate leftovers. What’s tasty about dried-out day-old meatloaf sitting in a pool of congealed gray gravy? Or is there anything worse than leftover pasta, turning brown at the edges?

On the other hand, that meatloaf can make a hearty sandwich or maybe even be mixed into that day-old pasta and both will have been given a second chance.

I grew up in a household of leftovers many of which became school lunches over the next day or two. And with a mother who didn’t particularly like to cook, leftovers gave her a chance to spend less time in the kitchen.

For some, reimagining leftovers is a culinary challenge like making the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse. A few vegetables and some chicken bones might become the base for a tasty soup, for example.

At Shomrei, leftovers become an act of tzedakah; a gift of kindness from our community to the food insecure.

On this past rainy Tuesday, I took several pans of leftovers to the MESH site on Bloomfield Avenue. Patricia is always happy to receive extra food for the day’s guests, but she was particularly happy on Tuesday. It seemed that there would not be enough to feed the 50 people, young and old, who come through MESH’s doors. She promptly headed to the microwave to start heating up the food.

So if you ever think that leftovers are just food that nobody wants, think again; they might be the only meal a hungry person eats that day.

MESH welcomes extra food — extra trays of food from a party, for example. But make sure to check with MESH first.

Email Lynne (email hidden; JavaScript is required) or Aileen (email hidden; JavaScript is required) to put you in touch with Patricia Diaz, program director.

Or sign up on Sign-Up Genius to help cook a MESH meal: shomrei.org/mesh.


About MESH:

The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for Hope) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches.

Shomrei is providing 50 MESH meals on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.  We need helpers to prepare and pack. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by volunteering to help with food preparation or bagging. Volunteers are also welcomed to help serve at the MESH site, 619 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair- the site of the former Office Restaurant. MESH provides dinner 6 nights a week, Monday through Saturday, 4:30-6:30 pm.

Sign up to help at: shomrei.org/mesh or to make a donation at: shomrei.org/donatemesh.

For questions, contact Lynne or Aileen
email hidden; JavaScript is required
email hidden; JavaScript is required

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