Crossroads Community Health Centers have been serving Cincinnati communities since 1992. They are committed to providing health-related services and addressing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Managing a chronic disease often requires a strict diet, but that can be difficult for patients when they are unable to access a grocery store in their community. Jaclyn Halverstadt, Community Care Coordinator, saw this issue firsthand and created the community refrigerator program at Crossroads.
Clients who come to a Crossroads facility for care can access frozen, ready-made meals from the community refrigerator. Made by La Soupe, the portion-controlled, plant-forward dishes prioritize whole ingredients, lean proteins, and whole grains. They are made from recovered, wholesome food that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.
Jaclyn shared that the meals are “more cost-effective for our clients’ lifestyle. By giving them more nutritious foods, especially the La Soupe DASH meals, they can manage their blood sugar and make sure all their numbers are in range.”
Braedy Hall, also a Community Care Coordinator, credits the success of the program to their “strong partnership with La Soupe and Freestore Foodbank. We’re able to not only fulfill our mission of helping our patients but also theirs, helping expand food access through the city.”
The program doesn’t just give out free food, “one of the ways that we help people save money and reduce food waste is by meeting with our diabetic educator. She is able to meet with our patients and show them how to make nutritious meals. If they are going shopping, she can tell them how to make a healthy meal or offer some other nutritious options compared to a box of macaroni and cheese. She’s able to sit down with them and provide that education,” shares Hall.
To learn more about Crossroads visit: http://www.crossroadhc.org/
Surplus Food Chicken Soup
4 cups stock (learn to make stock here)
2 chopped leftover chicken breasts, thighs, legs, etc.
1 lb diced potatoes or small red potatoes
1 lb chopped broccoli
1 tbsp. garlic
1 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. any other herbs you enjoy like cayenne, basil, parsley, sage, etc.
In a crock pot on high, mix stock, leftover chicken, potatoes, and broccoli for 6+ hours.
When the potatoes are soft, add garlic, herbs, and salt.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.