Non-perishable 'Meal in Minutes' Kit Project
The Non-perishable 'Meal in Minutes' Kit Project was designed to provide whanau with affordable, balanced, and easy-to-make food options when money is tight, cooking facilities are limited or in preparation for emergencies. The resource is designed to help community agencies and food banks with food provision ideas and to encourage ‘balanced meal’ donations for people wanting to help.
Lauren Ensor, Nelson Marlborough Health and Rob Blake, Pasifika Trust (photo credit: stuff.co.nz)
Identifying the need:
With ongoing food security issues for whānau, increased demands on foodbanks, and the need for affordable and easy food options during difficult times, the meal in minute kits are designed to help take the stress out of meal preparation. With just a microwave for cooking the meals and minimal additional equipment required, they may also be beneficial for those in transitional housing or temporary accommodation.
How could we help:
The recipes coordinate non-perishable food items to create balanced meals. They have been designed by Registered Nutritionists to be easy to assemble with no cooking skills required. They are also an affordable option priced at under $10 per meal kit, with 3-4 serves per kit.
Testing the recipes with whanau:
Recipes have been taste tested by local whānau to ensure acceptance of the meals and five recipes (including recipes for nachos, chicken mushroom pasta, and fried rice) have been designed into recipe cards which will be publicly available to use.
Reaching those in need:
Longer-term, the Public Health team’s goal is to run a campaign in collaboration with a local supermarket to promote the Meal in Minutes project. Affordable meal kits will be available for shoppers to purchase or donate to charity. It is hoped these recipes will be well utilised by not only food banks and community organisations, but also for whānau to have on hand for emergencies/natural disasters when non-perishables are a vital resource.
Note: These recipes are based on non-perishable food and while they have been designed to be nutritionally balanced, they do not replace the need for fresh or frozen whole foods where possible.