© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Sarah Rushton, child development facilitator at Maggie’s Place, proudly displays a plate of quiche. Rushton is often trying new recipes to make a meal go a little further, and said adding vegetables to quiche is one way to make eggs more delicious and nutritious.
AMHERST – Sometimes the food bank has an abundance of food people aren’t sure what to do with, but Maggie’s Place hopes to change that.
“If they’re passing out food like chickpeas or lentils, lots of people don’t really know what to do with chickpeas or lentils,” said Sarah Rushton, Child Development Facilitator at Maggie’s Place. “So we’ll do some recipes and make up some food with those ingredients and take it down to the food bank so they can try it.”
Rushton, who said she had never seen lentils until she joined Maggie’s Place, visits the food bank about once a month along with co-worker Karen LeBlanc and Nova Scotia Community College job placement student Courtney Dowe.
They recently served a chickpea hummus spread with carrot sticks at the food bank, along with pita wedges using the hummus.
Rushton said they’ve developed a rapport with the clients at the food bank, and the clients wont hesitate to tell them if a recipe is a hit or miss.
“They come in and see us and ask what kind of goodies we have. Some have been reluctant to try it.”
The hummus was a hit for some and a miss for others but an apple crisp recipe, which substituted apples with strawberries and rhubarb, was a hit.
Two factors determine what kind of recipes they come up with – what foods are in abundance at the food bank and what foods are in season.
“That’s why we had strawberry rhubarb crisp,” said Rushton. “Those foods are in season.”
Other favourite recipes have been macaroni and cheese, and chili.
“The chili used a small amount of beef but we added lentils and kidney beans to show you can have your meat but you can stretch it out with some filler.”
Rushton says she has fun at the food bank, and the reception to their recipes has been, for the most part, good.
“There are regulars who come in, they have a big smile and are more likely to chat with me the more I go down to the food bank,” said Rushton. “We’re getting to know each other better.”