Cary, N.C. — Anneka Kleine, a senior at Cary Academy, has launched a recipe book, a produce cooking guide and a quick nutrition guide to help food bank recipients incorporate healthy recipes into their lives and better use food pantry options. Her idea has prompted food pantry organizers around the state to implement it.
“I’ve always been passionate about healthy living and also just helping out my community, so when I realized I could work with the? food pantry and kind of share my passions with them, I saw this great opportunity,” Kliene said.
Her idea started when she began volunteering at her local food bank. Dorcas Ministries received great food from donors, but Kliene recognized one major issue: many recipients didn’t know how to cook the healthier options.
“A lot of community gardens donate to these food pantries,” Kliene said. “A lot of people might not have a lot of knowledge, like what do I do with this vegetable right now? So, I was trying to give them a way to feel comfortable using some different ingredients and also to make some more meals that weren’t just straight out of the box.”
She began creating the book and guides, working to develop healthy and creative options for people receiving food from food pantries.
“One of them was mac and cheese and incorporating vegetables into that without just putting them straight in there,” Kleine said. “The produce cooking guide was how do you use the vegetables that you’re given.”
After the book was done, Kleine said she wanted reach as many people as possible. With the help of her teacher, Vic Quesada Herrera, she translated her book into Spanish.
“The most important part is the skills to reach the community. She touches many different lives and puts into practice what she has learned,” Herrera. “It’s helping others, which is the best thing that you can teach a child.”
Now, her binders and take-home copies are on display, making a difference in the community one meal at a time.
A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.