Sisters Katie (age 13) and twins Madie and Jocie (age 9) gave thanks to their community in a big way this year. For Thanksgiving they wanted to help out other kids, so they started a project to build packages of “8 Can Chicken Soup” to give to families in need. The package includes all of the ingredients with a printed out recipe which makes an easy and nutritious dinner for 6-8 people in less than 20 minutes. Grandmother of Katie, Madie and Jocie, Trish Kunath generously supplied us with the recipe as well! She states, “The name is misleading a bit because although it contains chicken it’s a more robust kind of Taco soup taste! The whole family loved it and still had leftovers!”
The girls are currently being homeschooled by Trish while their mom works as a registered nurse at Oak Hill Hospital. Due to COVID-19 they have not been able to socialize with other kids, or go on fun vacations in order to keep their grandma safe. Trish states in a letter addressed to her Trinity Rotary Family, “God bless all the teachers and I certainly have a greater respect for their hard work!”
She also states in this letter, “Aside from the regular schoolwork I am continuing to try to teach them empathy for all the people that are in a crisis situation in our community and around the world. We have tried to think of ways we could help others less fortunate while we are sheltering in place.”
Earlier in November, they ordered, compiled and donated 100 bags of the soup packages to Pasco Kids First to distribute to the families they serve. Jocie said in a video explaining, “Most kids like to play, but we like to help people.” The girls wanted the project to keep going since they know there are more families in need, especially when kids are out of school where many receive their meals for the day. They have challenged the community to help contribute to their project. Rotary Club of Trinity has accepted the challenge. The girls compiled another 180 bags of food on Thanksgiving and throughout the weekend to donate this week. They have nearly 300 dinners ready to donate.The value of their donation has been $3,000 for this project. Each total dinner cost about $14. Trish shops with BOGO deals to get the most food possible for the budget she has.
Trish talks about the process of preparing these dinners, “After we picked up all of the ingredients we formed an assembly line in the garage and using double bags the grandchildren all went to work to put the dinners together. What a great team they made - double bagging, adding all the ingredients and the recipe to each bag. It was wonderful to see them working so hard for our community!”
She is also looking to her Rotarian family and the community for help with her donations. She states that she is happy to purchase the ingredients and the grandchildren have agreed to assemble them again. Any donations help her buy more ingredients to give back to those in need. One Rotary member has already agreed to match her 100 meals which is amazing! Everyone wants to make a difference within the community and this is one way to do it.
The end of Trish’s letter reads, “If anyone has any suggestions whatsoever on improving or changing our dinners I’m certainly open for new possibilities! God bless you all! I keep you all in my prayers for your continued safety and for those of us that are already struggling with COVID-19 my heart goes out to you and your loved ones! Together we CAN make a difference! One 8-Can Chicken Soup Dinner at a time!”
Some charities she's donating these dinners to are Rap House in New Port Richey (serving homeless teenagers) Pack A Sack, other charities and local food banks. Spreading it around as much as they can, they're trying to reach as many people as possible.
Often people who go to food banks will receive different food items but no meals or instructions on how to prepare anything. This is helpful to throw a meal together and the recipe definitely feeds 8 people. Trish remarked, “With this cold weather my first thought was oh nearly 300 people are going to receive a hot soup tonight. It feels really good to know that we're doing a little bit to help. It feels inadequate when you look at the big picture of how hard it is for people out there and how much need there is.”