KITCHEN ANGELS | 1222 Siler Rd Santa Fe, NM 87507 | 505.471.7780
Halo Headlines w/ Clouds

FEBRUARY 2024

Greetings Tony,

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, 

embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour." 

-  John Boswell

Angels Dine Out is just a few months away!


This is Angels Dine Out's 25th year, and we're busy lining up restaurants, sending out contracts, and recruiting volunteer "ambassadors." Last year we had 45 establishments participate in our fundraising event, including a few non-restaurants. This year we hope to match or surpass that number.


For those of you new to all things Kitchen Angels, Angels Dine Out is our biggest fundraising event of the year, which happens on the third Thursday in April. Participating restaurants agree to donate 25% of their revenue from sales on that one day. Some restaurants participate for dinner only, others for breakfast or lunch. A few participate for the full day. "Ambassadors" in each restaurant talk to patrons, thank them for dining out and offer them the chance to win a $500 gift card. Most importantly, these ambassadors also solicit donations directly to Kitchen Angels. It's the ambassadors who bring in roughly 60% of the funds we raise on that one day!


We will be recruiting for ambassadors soon, so if you want to get your foot in the door and claim your favorite restaurant, let Crystal know sooner rather than later. If you're curious about what's involved in being an ambassador, check with Lauren. We will probably need over 100 volunteers, so grab a buddy and sign up! Not only will we hold a thorough training, but this year we will do a follow-up celebration for all of the ambassadors the following day.


If you have a personal connections with a restaurant owner or manager, and you think their restaurant would like to participate, please contact Dwayne at dtrujillo@kitchenangels.org and let him know!

Please be mindful of your health during this flu/RSV/Covid season.


If you are not feeling well, take a test and stay home. If you have Covid, always contact Crystal and let her know when you tested positive. If you worked a volunteer shift while potentially contagious, we need to notify your co-workers so they can be safe and test as well. If someone you live with has Covid, it's best to stay home.


Click here for the CDC policy that we follow. In addition to these guidelines, Kitchen Angels also advises volunteers to stay home if a housemate has Covid. After day 5 of exposure, if you test negative and are asymptomatic, you may return to volunteering. It's always a good idea to wear a mask until day 10 post-exposure.


We've gotten this far without a spreading event at Kitchen Angels. We want to maintain our excellent track record going forward, keeping each other and our clients as safe as possible.

"2023 was a rough year for me, but I think things are getting better because of the work Kitchen Angels is doing and helping me with meals. I really appreciate it and I am grateful for everything you've done for me throughout my illness. Thank you very much. Dinner last night was excellent. Thank you for all your help during this trying time."

~ Dennis B

 

"Thank you so much for the wonderful holiday meals and gifts, and all you do. The roast beef for New Years was such a treat!" ~ Glenna L

 

"Happy 2024! Thank you so very much for the delicious holiday meals. I am so grateful to all you Kitchen Angels. Wish I could express my gratitude and also, I needed this calendar (appointment). I love it. Happy Healthy New Year 2424. To each and every one, Earth Angels, Kitchen Angels."  ~ Alice M

 

"It's been a wonderful experience. The food has been healthy and delicious and the people delivering have been kind generous, loving people. Everyone at Kitchen Angels has been kind and generous. And the Christmas gifts were totally delightful." ~ Mark G


"Driver Pat is real nice . . . he always greets me by name; it brightens up my day every time!" ~ Belinda L                    

Where the Rubber Meets the Road


Kitchen Angels delivery drivers are the volunteers who typically have the most face-to-face contact with our clients. And while we regularly share comments and stories from clients about the impact of our program or their interactions with delivery drivers, we don't always stop to reflect on the impact clients have on drivers or the many small ways our drivers help clients beyond simply delivering meals.


Dan Knobeloch started delivering meals for Kitchen Angels in January of 2020. None of us knew that in a few short months, the world would be turned on its ear. The pandemic didn’t stop Dan – he masked up like the rest of us and even added a delivery prep shift!

 

Here’s what Dan had to say about his time delivering meals…

 

"Delivery for Kitchen Angels is the last step that gives each client the best meal to match their needs. The drivers are the faces and voices to this whole program. I loved hearing each client say “Thank You” after every meal delivery. Some of the clients really impacted me by what they said…

 

  • ‘The food is important, but being recognized by the drivers is really important too.’
  • ‘Oh, you’re here already, that’s nice.’
  • ‘Sometimes you’re the only person I see and talk to for days at a time.' (this happened a lot during the pandemic, but continued long after to be a common remark from many clients)
  • ‘I can sit out here on this bench and never be recognized with a simple “Hi” or nod of the head, until my meal arrives.’
  • ‘My life wasn’t always like this, and these meals help me keep going.' (heard this a LOT!)  


I'm rewarded with such a great feeling when I help those who can't help themselves. Being is delivery driver is a volunteer job that has instant gratification!"

                

* * * * * * *

We want to hear from our delivery drivers about your experiences as a driver and how clients may have had an impact on you. Send your thoughts or stories to info@kitchenangels.org. Please let us know if we can use your name. Use the words "Driver Stories" in the subject line.

Tasty Tidbits

As far as cooking goes, February recipes are hard to pin down. Post-holidays and pre-spring, most people can’t spend the entire month eating heart-shaped cakes and candies. However, the produce in season in February is actually much better than many people realize. Case in point: leeks. The earliest of spring alliums to emerge, leeks are sweeter and more delicate than onions but they can do all the same jobs.

The first thing to know about leeks is that they hold more soil residue after harvesting than onions, shallots, or garlic. All those tender layers collect dirt and sand, so follow these directions available at Simply Recipes for techniques to clean leeks. Once cleaned, you can follow one of these twenty-one leek recipes from Bon Appetit. Potato leek soup is the classic recipe on the list, but caramelizing leeks to go with roast chicken or pasta is also a way to get mileage out of this super useful vegetable.

 

There are also some events to cook for in February. For a lot of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday and it can be fun to cook for the event even if you are not a sports fan. Food and Wine has a lot of classic bar food recipes like chicken wings and spinach and artichoke dip that would be crowd pleasers for the big game.


Then of course there's Valentine’s Day. The Food Network’s list of desserts has all the heart-shaped and red-colored sweet treats you can imagine.


Hang in there - we're halfway through winter!

KITCHENALITY


Happy month of Love !


Looking for that very special gift? A Kitchenality Gift Certificate is the perfect gift for someone who is hard to shop for and has everything. The other exciting option is something special from our eBay store. Click here to check out what's available through eBay.


Store hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM and Saturdays, 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM.


With Valentine's Day just around the corner, stop in to see what's new or pick up a Gift Certificate. You can also follow KITCHENALITY on Facebook and Instagram.


We also need your donations, especially kitchen basics such as pots and pans, cooking utensils, measuring cups, and baking dishes and pans. Donations are accepts during store hours. Remember, one hundred percent of your donations and purchases support Kitchen Angels' meal delivery program. It just doesn't get any better!

Kitchen Angels Recipe Box


Lauren's Vegan Butternut Squash Chili


Don't let the word "vegan" fool you into thinking this recipe is short on flavor! It's chocked full of vegetables, making it high in fiber. The beans and soy crumbles make it high in protein and low in cholesterol. Top it with cheese or sour cream if dairy is your thing, or avocado to boost your Omega-3s. This chili comes together in no time and gives you days of hearty meals to enjoy or freeze for later. We're hoping to get this recipe in rotation for Kitchen Angels' vegetarian clients. It came out of Lauren's "test kitchen" as she learned how to cook with soy/pea "fake meat" crumbles. She used Plant Basics brand, but there are so many to choose from now, and they're all quite good!


INGREDIENTS

 

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 tsp ground Cumin

1 tsp ground Ginger

1 tsp Chili powder

5 cloves garlic, minced

 

4 Cups cubed butternut squash

2 Celery stalks, chopped

1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

1 Green Bell Pepper, diced

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juices

6 Cups vegetable broth

 

1 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 14 oz can white beans, drained & rinsed

1 cup dehydrated fake meat crumbles

 

1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

1 TBSP Maple syrup or honey

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION

 

1.     Heat oil in a large pot and add garlic & spices. Cook for 1 minute.

2.     Add next seven ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 15 minutes until butternut squash is fork tender.

3.     Add rinsed beans, fake meat crumbles, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered for another 15 minutes.

4.     Once all vegetables are tender and flavors have come together, remove from heat and stir in Balsamic Vinegar and Maple Syrup.


* * * * * * *

If you'd like to contribute a recipe, send your selection to info@kitchenangels.org by the 15th of the month to be considered for inclusion in the next month's Halo Headlines. Use the word "Recipe" in the subject line and tell us your name, how long you've been volunteering with Kitchen Angels, and what your volunteer job is. If it's a "borrowed" recipe, give credit. If you have a photo, send it along.

We're always looking for volunteers, especially during this time of growth in client enrollment. If you're interested in a regular shift or to be placed on our substitute volunteer list, please contact Crystal Hena, Volunteer Coordinator.


Here are the latest opportunities:

Delivery Volunteers (3:30pm - 5:30pm)

  • Monday, Route #17 (Zia/Sawmill)
  • Tuesday, Route #19 (South Capitol)
  • Thursday, Route #8 (Jaguar Dr.)
  • Friday, Route #1 (South Rufina)
  • Friday, Route #3 (N. on Cerrillos Rd.)
  • Friday, Route #9 (Senior Centers)


AM Kitchen (10am - 12pm)

  • Tuesday - 1 volunteer
  • Wednesday - 1 volunteer


PM Kitchen (1pm - 3pm)

  • Tuesday - 1 volunteer
  • Wednesday - 1 volunteer
  • Thursday - 1 volunteer


Delivery Prep (1pm - 4:15pm)

  • Monday permanent volunteer
  • Substitutes Monday through Friday



Kitchenality

  • Front of house host (10am - 2pm) or Saturday (10am - 4pm)
  • Substitutes for every position, M-F


Frozen Meal Program (10am-12pm)

  • Monday or Tuesday - loading frozen entrees into client bags
  • Wednesday - loading fruit, shakes & pet food


Substitute Volunteers

  • Every day, every shift, every position!


Pet Food Volunteer (2-hour shift, timing flexible)

  • Portioning pet food into baggies for delivery on Tuesdays.


Bag Sanitizer (2-hour shift, timing flexible)

  • Preferably mid-week

Continuing Education

We are making great strides in the creation of our new diet tracks and hoping to launch in February! On the first days of the new recipes/menus, staff will be involved in training, working out any challenges that may arise, and answering questions. Most of the changes will be seen in the kitchen, with volunteers cooking new recipes. Karen will be introducing each new recipe and walking volunteers through the preparation process.


Delivery prep and delivery volunteers will notice changes to the client delivery slips. You can see an image of the new layout above. We hope the new format reduces confusion for those loading the meal bags and delivering them. Of course, you'll notice new three-letter codes:


  • COR = Core diet track, formerly REG (regular). This is for clients without dietary restrictions. Their food will not be chopped or pureed. They will, however, have the option of receiving a vegetarian meal on days when we serve red meat. No dot will be placed on their slip, unless it is a "red meat day," then a green dot will appear.


  • MOD = Modified diet tract, formerly EZD (easy digest). This track is for clients who have allergens, dietary restrictions, or who need low salt or a chopped/pureed meal. Major allergens that are recognized by the FDA are not served on this track which include fish/shellfish, dairy, gluten, soy, sesame, tree nuts/peanuts, and eggs. In addition, this diet eliminates hot spices and is low in sodium. This track is indicated with a red dot. Additional dots may appear on red meat day or if the person's food is chopped or pureed.


  • REN = Renal diet tract, formerly RLS (renal, low sodium). This diet is designed for clients who have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and is formulated to limit protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorous. This diet track is indicated with a black dot. Additional dots may appear on red meat or fish days or if the person's food is chopped or pureed.


  • VEG = Vegetarian diet tract stays the same. This diet is for individuals who do not eat animal protein. It is NOT vegan. We do not serve gluten on this meal track, as so many of our vegetarians are also gluten-intolerant. We also do not offer altered textures (chopped or pureed) options on this diet. This diet track is indicated with a yellow dot.


  • ALL = Allergen diet track. Clients with multiple allergens who do not easily fit in our other diet categories will be on the allergen track. We will make these meals to order. Clients will receive a week's worth of frozen "safe" meals on Wednesdays. Clients may receive whole fruit or fruit cups, shakes, and pet food in addition to their entrees. Soup, salad, breakfasts, and desserts are not offered on this diet tract. This diet track is indicated with a green dot (for meat eaters) or yellow & green (for vegetarians). Additional dots may appear for clients who require their food to be chopped or pureed.


You will also notice the soups and salads have changed names. Instead of Regular and Alternative options, they will be named Core and Allergen.


Thanks to all of the people who have contributed their time, energy and research toward the creation of these new, more accommodating diets! Our nutritionist, Kathy Moore-Gregory, has been an incredible resource. Thank you Kathy! We just know most of our clients will welcome the changes, and can't wait to hear the feedback. We also hope the volunteers enjoy making new recipes to please our clients.

Community Connections

Kitchenality is now in its eighth year and we never would have guessed how successful it was going to be. An unforeseen benefit of the store is how we have teamed up with other agencies and provide kitchen wares to those in need.


Just last year alone, Kitchenality worked with 40 different agencies, including Growing Up NM, La Familia, Delancy Street, St. Elizabeth's Shelter, La Luz, SF County, Presbyterian Hospital, and Las Cumbres. We provided cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, small appliances, and cookware to 85 individuals and families in need in 2023.


Individual circumstances vary - a family home burns down and the family needs to set up a new residence or a person who was homeless is now housed but doesn't have any kitchen supplies. Sometimes, a person who was in a domestic violence situation finds themselves rehoused but without the basics for cooking. Kitchenality has a whole shelf full of items to donate. We're happy to help and are grateful for our partner agencies who send people our way when they need a leg up.

Thank You

Our Monday kitchen volunteers deserve a big round of applause! They really stepped up when chef Karen was stuck in Texas recently! Lauren got to work early after hearing that Karen's flights were cancelled. She ran the numbers for the day, and with helpful phone calls from Karen, was able to get the ball rolling.


Thanks to Ron Wieneke who does our frozen meal inventory, for jumping in and setting up all of the work stations for the day. He even ran to our supplier and picked up some missing ingredients!


Every Monday morning volunteer showed up, plus one extra, who wasn't on the schedule (thanks Michael Brendel!). A new recipe was planned for that day, and everyone got busy chopping the four different kinds of veggies for the vegetarian gumbo. Patrick Lenz really stepped up as an unofficial leader of the pack!


The afternoon crew didn't skip a beat. They dove in and cooked up the side veggie and portioned the gumbo. The meals looked fabulous and we hope the clients enjoyed Meatless Monday. Even though we appreciate the knowledge and expertise that chef Karen brings to her job, it was nice to know we could pull it off in case Karen wasn't available.


Well done everyone!

VOLUNTEER MILESTONE

ANNIVERSARIES


1 Year


Gregory Baker

Paco Benitez

Frank Katz

Anne Marcy-Benitez

Sara O'Gara

Laurie Overton



5 Years


Courtney Best-Trujillo

Rebecca Best

Barbara Greene

Dick Markwood


10 Years


Elizabeth Braun

Todd Braun

IN MEMORIAM


Celebrating the lives of our volunteers and clients.


Lee O.

Carl S.

Louise A.



Thank you for your on-going dedication and support of Kitchen Angels and the community of Santa Fe. Please forward this email to a friend. It's a great way to share our mission with new folks who may want to join our group. 
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