Gettin’ to know the Garden

by Anne Snell

Did you know the HSRC has a garden? That’s right! Just to the East of the building are 7 rows of soil,  and two raised beds. (Or, if you’re directionally challenged like me, the side with the 30-minute parking spots.) There is also a mini orchard which includes dwarf-sized fruit trees like fig, apple, pear, and persimmon. The garden began in the 2016-2017 school year as part of the Growing Food Security Initiative between the HSRC and the Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI).

Two of the garden beds, growing baby kale and pepper plants

If it doesn’t look like much now, it’s because this will actually be the garden’s first year producing a full season of crops!  It takes time for well-producing gardens to form. The Organic Growers Club grew the starts from seed to help us save money. This also helps make sure we get the varieties people want to eat.  The soil conditions are constantly improving, so in a few years, they will be even more nutrient rich than they are now. More nutrients in the soil means more produce!

Colorful Swiss Chard is almost ready to harvest!

This year the garden, which is mostly managed by the SSI, is growing vegetables like Swiss chard, tomatoes, kale, tomatillos, bell peppers, carrots, beets, squash, and garlic. Everything grown in the garden is harvested directly for the HSRC’s Shopping Style Food Pantry nights or Fresh Food Friday. Production is slow right now, but come summer, and into the fall, we will have vegetables galore!

The apples aren’t quite ripe yet, but they will be soon!

 

 

The HSRC Community  Garden isn’t just for  providing fresh produce to the food pantry. It is also a learning environment, where students can get their hands dirty and help grow the food harvested from the garden. In the future we hope students can engaged in the process of growing food, both so they can give back to their community, but also so they can learn the skills required to grow your own food for themselves. The community garden we have is small, and still very young, but growin’ strong!

Recipe spotlight: Egg Fried Rice

Here is a quick fried rice recipe that uses leftovers and pantry staples to create a delicious snack or meal!

Serving size: 4-6 people as a main dish, 6-8 people as a side dish

Ingredients for Egg Fried Rice

  • 4 cups cooked rice – day old is best
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables chopped (fresh, frozen, or canned are fine – just drain excess liquid)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 4 eggs (1-2 eggs per person)
  • ½-1 Tablespoon of garlic powder(more or less to taste)
  • ½-1 Tablespoon of black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • ½-1 Tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp optional seasoning/toppings


Notes from the author:
I used brown rice, half of a large onion, two carrots, and four butter pats repurposed from various event leftovers. The dry seasonings are optional and could be replaced or combined with cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, mushroom powder, or omitted as desired.  If you want to add meat, fish, or vegetarian protein substitutes, factor in about half to one cup of protein. Note that if you add raw meat or fish, you should chop, cook, and season with salt and pepper before you add the vegetables, rice, etc. Finally, I used sweet chili sauce as an optional topping, but chopped green onions or toasted sesame seeds are also tasty options. 

Instructions for Egg Fried Rice

  • Preheat a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. Add oil of choice.
  • Chop vegetables as needed
chopped onions and carrots
  • Note that you can save vegetable scraps and make vegetable broth
  • Add veggies and dry seasonings to the pan and cook until tender
chopped vegetables in skillet
  • Push the vegetables to the side, and crack the eggs onto the other side.
scramble eggs on one side of skillet
  • Scramble the eggs and then mix eggs and veggies together
  • Add the rice to the veggie and egg mixture 2 cups at a time.
add rice in portions

  • Pour the soy sauce on top.
add soy sauce slowly to fried rice
  • Stir and mix rice until warm
  • Serve with desired toppings
serve fried rice and enjoy warm

 

If you have any leftovers, they’ll last about 1-2 days in the fridge, depending on the age of the leftover rice

Article by Bion Hawkmorr, HSRC Events & Programming Coordinator 2017-2018

Photo credit: Bion Hawkmorr 2018

Breakfast with a tinge of color

We wanted to bring to you some delicious, quick and simple recipes that can be made with little cost. A bonus is that many of the ingredients used for these recipes can be found at the Oregon State University, Human Service Resource Center food pantry. We decided to play with color and make blue cornbread and vegetable scrambled eggs

To make our cornbread, we chose to use blue cornmeal. This ingredient, one of the lesser grabbed items at the food pantry, served to give our cornbread an interesting blue tinge! To pair with the cornbread, we decided to make some scrambled eggs. As students we usually have a hectic morning, rushing to make a quick breakfast of just eggs. Scrambled eggs with veggies, is a                delicious and healthier alternative to your regular plain ol’ scramble.  

We began with making cornbread, the ingredients included:

Download a PDF of this recipe:  Blue Corn Cornbread – Fifteen Spatulas

  • ¾ cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 regular eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk                                           
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of blue corn meal
  • 4.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

As you prepare your ingredients, preheat the oven to 400℉.

To prepare the ingredients you will need 3 bowls.

In the first bowl  mix together butter and sugar. Do not worry if you didn’t have enough time to let your butter melt to room temperature. We decided to heat it in the microwave until partially melted.

In the second bowl mix together your eggs and milk.

In the third bowl sift together your flour, blue cornmeal, baking soda and salt.

Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the sugar/butter mix in the first bowl, then add ½ of the egg/milk mixture. Mix this until all ingredients are absorbed.

   

Repeat this step until the remaining flour mixture and egg/milk mixture are added into the first bowl.

* We did not have an electric mixer, however a fork or whisk were able to serve the same purpose. We do recommend using an electric mixer, as it was quite exhausting trying to mix the ingredients with a fork.

Grease the pan with butter, or pam (if you already have it).

Once mixed, pour the cornbread mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Or any large pan you have available.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. To check that it is cooked stick a toothpick or fork through the middle. If the fork comes out clean, then it is cooked all the way through

Once it’s ready, let it cool off.  We couldn’t wait to eat it, and found out that while still hot it could be quite crumbly.

-This recipe was adapted from Blue Corn Cornbread by Joanne Ozuq at 15spatulas.com

We then prepared the egg recipe: 

Download a PDF of this recipe: Colorful Scrambled Eggs

  • 8 regular eggs
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

Start by cubing your tomatoes, onions and green pepper. Then mix in a bowl.

 

Break the eggs in a separate bowl and add 1 cup of milk.

 

*We later found out that 1 cup was too much and recommend using ½ a cup.

Mix the eggs and milk, then pour the mixture into the vegetable bowl.

Add salt and pepper to taste into the mixture.

Heat a large pan and add vegetable oil.

*We did not have a specific temperature to heat it to, so we started on low and gradually increased it.

Once hot, add mixture and scramble with a spatula until ready.

  

 

Here’s a picture of the delicious, complete product!

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Final thoughts from Fatuma and Nikita, two Spring 2018 volunteers:

Volunteering with the food pantry started as a great way to earn service learning hours for a class, but it turned into an eye opening experience. We were able to learn how the food pantry functions, and the great ways it has impacted food insecurity in our community. We were excited for this blogging opportunity to not only expand our knowledge about how the food pantry items may be used, but also share our experience making some interesting recipes. In the future, we look forward to opportunities to experiment with food products we might have overlooked in the past and encourage others to experiment themselves!

 

 

Recipe spotlight: Mashed Potato Flakes

A multi-purpose pantry & recipe ingredient – try mashed potato flakes today!

Mashed potato flakes are one of the few food items that get passed by on food pantry days. Here are some recipes and suggestions about how to use mashed potato flakes beyond just making average mashed potatoes.

Here are two simple ways to use mashed potato flakes in their fresh-out-of-the-bag state.

    • Cornstarch, tapioca starch, or xanthan gum replacement.

Use 1 tablespoon of mashed potato flakes per 1 cup of liquid. You can add it directly to your soup or gravy without the need of a slurry (mixing it with water is a necessary step for cornstarch or flour). Stir, let thicken, add more as needed.

      • Breading.
        Pour ½ cup to 1 cup of mashed potato flakes onto a plate. Add salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste. Press fish (or other food items) into flakes on both sides. Bake, deep fry, or pan fry as desired.

The following recipes involve using mashed potatoes. Prepare mashed potato flakes with water, milk, butter, etc. to mimic desired mashed potatoes used in the recipe.

Click the links below for the recipes. (photos are from the linked recipes)

      • Croquettes.
        An easily made snack consisting of egg, mashed potato, and whatever fillings you might desire. 

      • Gnocchi.
        Tasty Italian potato pasta. A nice change from instant ramen. 
      • Aligot.
        Creamy cheese-filled mashed potatoes, French-style. 

Mashed potato flakes are part of the grains section of the food pantry. If you’re tired of rice, pasta, or cereal, consider trying mashed potato flakes instead!

 

Article by Bion Hawkmorr, HSRC Events & Programming Coordinator 2017-2018

Food Recall: Nutritional Yeast

URGENT FOOD RECALL

Oregon Food Bank voluntarily recalls nutritional yeast

March 16, 2018 – Oregon Food Bank is voluntarily recalling 1,219 pounds of nutritional yeast, which was donated to the food bank. No illness has been reported but it was donated at the same time as two other recalled products – chia and pumpkin seeds.

The nutritional yeast was distributed in Oregon and Clark County, Washington through the Oregon Food Bank Network of regional food banks and participating food pantries. The product was distributed in one pound plastic poly film bags with a twist-type closure or a re-sealable pouch. All nutritional yeast was distributed between November 1, 2017 and March 16, 2018. See attached product label for ease of identification.

Individuals should dispose of the product immediately. Any questions should be directed to Oregon Food Bank’s Facilities and Regulatory Compliance Manager Ryan Wist at 503-419-4160.

 

About Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, that communities thrive when people are nourished, and that everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of 740,000 people through a food distribution network of 21 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at oregonfoodbank.org.

Food Recall: Pumpkin Seeds

URGENT FOOD RECALL

Oregon Food Bank voluntarily recalls pumpkin seeds

March 16, 2018 – As a result of the ongoing recall of donated chia seeds that began on March 12, 2018, Oregon Food Bank has initiated a voluntary recall of 63,825 pounds of pumpkin seeds received on the same donation. These donated pumpkin seeds have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria species. While no illnesses have been reported we are recalling this product out of an abundance of caution.

The pumpkin seeds were distributed in Oregon and Clark County, Washington through the Oregon Food Bank Network of regional food banks and participating food pantries. The product was distributed in one pound plastic poly film bags with a twist-type closure or a re-sealable pouch or a KALE JOY plastic bag. All pumpkin seeds were distributed between November 1, 2017 and March 16, 2018. See attached images for ease of identification.

Listeria species can include Listeria monocytogenes an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Anyone who has consumed these pumpkin seeds and is experiencing symptoms of food borne illness should consult with their primary physician or county health department.

Individuals should dispose of the product immediately. Any questions should be directed to Oregon Food Bank’s Facilities and Regulatory Compliance Manager Ryan Wist at 503-419-4160.

About Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, that communities thrive when people are nourished, and that everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of 740,000 people through a food distribution network of 21 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit atoregonfoodbank.org.

Food Recall: Chia Seeds

URGENT FOOD RECALL

Oregon Food Bank issues alert on foreign material in chia seeds

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 12, 2018 – Oregon Food Bank of Portland, Oregon has initiated a Class II recall of 22,201 pounds of chia seeds, which were donated to the food bank. The product may be contaminated with rodent droppings. While no known illnesses have been associated with this product, use or consumption may present a health hazard to consumers.

The chia seeds were distributed in Oregon and Clark County, Washington through the Oregon Food Bank Network of regional food banks and participating food pantries. The product was distributed in one pound plastic poly film bags with a twist-type closure or a re-sealable pouch. All chia seeds distributed in the described packaging between November 1, 2017 and March 9, 2018 are included. See images of product labels for ease of identification.

bagged chia seeds bagged chia seeds

Consumers should dispose of the product immediately and can get additional information by contacting the food pantry where they received the product or from Oregon Food Bank’s Facilities and Regulatory Compliance Manager Ryan Wist at 403-419-4160. Anyone who has consumed these chia seeds and is experiencing symptoms of food borne illness should consult with their primary physician or county health department.

The issue was discovered through investigation of a customer complaint regarding foreign material. Product which was still in inventory at Oregon Food Bank was determined to contain rodent droppings. Subsequent investigation indicates the chia seeds were observed to have evidence of rodent activity by the donor, Live Local Organic of Milwaukie, Oregon. The recall was initiated after it was determined all chia seeds received in this donation might be at risk.

About Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, that communities thrive when people are nourished, and that everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of 740,000 people through a food distribution network of 21 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at oregonfoodbank.org.

Shopping-Style Food Pantry: What’s it like?

If you’ve never visited the Human Services Resource Center during days when we have a shopping-style food pantry, this post can give you an idea of what to expect.

As a reminder, you can find our schedule on our website – and you can visit during non-shopping style days and we can help make you a box of food.

The front of a mid-century modern looking brown building has stairs to one side and a ramp to the other.
We have a shopping-style food pantry 3-4 times per month. The sign outside our building says Avery House. The building is often named Avery Lodge (like on campus maps). Someday soon, the building will re-named. We know it’s confusing in the interim; unfortunately, there isn’t anything we can do.
a green sandshich board is at teh top of stairs
Anyone who meets income qualifications can visit the HSRC food pantry. This resource is not limited to students.

There is free street parking immediately in front of Avery on Madison Avenue, though it’s often full during the school day. More street parking can be found on adjacent city streets. The parking lot immediately East of Avery is monitored until 5:00 pm, as is the crescent campus lot 1/2 block away to the West. Further details can be found at the OSU parking page.  If you’re stopping in for a quick food box, you may find the 30 minute loading zone spots helpful.

A smiling woman sits behind a table with assorted papers
Before you can get your food, you’ll have to sign in at our welcome desk.

We know that some people might have concerns about data collection and privacy. The information collected on this form is not shared with the broader university. You can read more about our data collection and data philosophy on our website.

A hand is holding a pen and writing information on a form. The top half of the form is obscured by an orange sheet of paper.
Signing in is simple: you’ll just have to record your name, address, household size and sign your name to confirm that you meet income eligibility guidelines. The laminated orange sheet helps us protect the confidentiality of the individuals who signed in before you.

We get most of our food from the Linn Benton Food Share, our regional food bank. Using this sign-in form and following strict confidentiality rules are part of our agreement with them.

A form with text explaining income eligibility and non discrimination policy is obscured by an orange piece of paper.
When you sign in, the form has important information about eligibility criteria and our non-discrimination policy.
Income guidelines are similar to qualifications for other government and community support programs.
text of our non discrimination policy.
We take our non-discrimination policy seriously. If you feel like there is room for improvement, please alert a staff person.
multiple reusable shopping bags are heaped on a table.
If you have reusable bags, please bring them! This helps us keep food costs low. If you forget your bags, don’t worry, we have some paper bags for you to use.
An illustration of a van is on a card, with a capital V and a lowercase v on it. The card itself sits on the arm of a couch.
After you sign in, you’ll be issued a card – we’ll call this when it’s your turn (instead of your name or a number).
While you are waiting you can study at a table. We have wifi in our building and this might be a good time to get some studying done. Ask a staff member if you need to print something and we’ll show you where you can do so.
Couches are arranged in front of a fire place, with decorative squash in the foreground.
We also have couches and chairs to sit on while you wait your turn.
Diet Dr. Pepper and juice boxes are on a table.
We often have snacks available.
Chicken is in a bowl with rice, a cookbook is open to a page with the recipe for it.
Sometimes we have recipe tastings. This is Adobo Chicken from the Good and Cheap Cookbook, which you can check out from the HSRC.
Sometimes we have information about campus and community resources tabling at our pantry. Be sure to check these out, they’re often really helpful!
A volunteer wearing an apron holds up a card with an illustrated van on it and a capital V and a lowercase v
Keep an ear and an eye out for your turn. A volunteer or a staff person will hold up a card that matches the one you were given when you checked in.
Its your turn when a volunteer holds up a card that is the same as yours.
The volunteer or staff person will have a card that looks similar to this- and will help you keep track of how much food you’re able to take home. This is based on recommendations from the USDA and is a recommendation based on how much food a household of your size might need for about a week. This card is for a household size of 2 people.
Stacked of red and black shopping baskets
We have shopping baskets for you to use.

First, you’ll get to choose the fresh produce options you’d like to take home to your family.

Onions in a wooden crate.
In the winter months, sometimes we have fewer produce options.
Colorful berries are in green berry baskets
In the summer months, we sometimes have berries and carrots and broccolini.
Herbs and celery and parsnips and fennel
Sometimes our produce selection includes celery and fennel and parsnips and even herbs.

On average, each household that visits the HSRC gets about 5 lbs of produce per visit. We get some of our produce from the Linn Benton Food Share or from members of our communities with abundant home gardens. We are especially grateful for community gardens like Produce for the People and our partnership with the Student Sustainability Initiative, Growing Food Security who help us be generous with produce at the HSRC.

A white board is on a silver surface
Each freezer contains different items. The numbers indicate how many servings the item counts for. In this case, a whole chicken is four servings of protein.
Our freezers can also sometimes have frozen meals or frozen vegetables.
Eggs and margarine on a tray, on a black table
We usually distribute eggs and margarine on a one-per-household basis.

After you shop for fresh produce and frozen items, you’ll move into our dry-good storage area where you can choose from the shelf-stable items.

If you like raisins, we almost always have lots of them! This is our canned fruits and vegetable section. Each canned item usually counts as one serving.
We also have non-meat proteins like beans and nut butters.

If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies, let the volunteer or staff person who’s assisting you know – we’ll make sure you get extra of something else to make things equitable. You don’t have to take home anything you don’t like or don’t need.

Sometimes we get items that are bagged and labeled like these oats. The state and regional food banks buy this food in bulk and do a re-package like this to help pantries like ours feed our communities at very low cost. Bagged items like this usually count as two servings.
white aseptic containers of chicken stock
Sometimes the food we get from the food pantry network has unusual labels or packaging. This is turkey stock.
silver bag of beef stew
This silver-packaging is a bag of beef stew.
bagged beans
This is a mix of beans, perfect for soup or chili.
Cereals, grains and pastas on shelves
We also have a selection of cereals, pastas, and other grains.
Bags of coffee and boxes of tea
Sometimes we get things like coffee and tea, snacks or other items. These are often one-per-household distribution items.
bagged tampons and pads
We often have a selection of menstruation products.
diapers and other items on a wire shelf
We don’t often have baby-items like diapers, but sometimes we do!
After you’re done shopping, we can help bag your items.

Once a volunteer has called your name, most people spend 15-20 minutes shopping for their groceries. We usually have a lot to choose from.

Two people wearing aprons smile for the camera.
Anyone wearing an apron is either a staff or a volunteer. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

On average, the HSRC provides 18 lbs of food per individual. If you’re a household of two, this means an average of 32 lbs of food!