Soup Kitchen Needs Help Utilizing Excess Food Commodities?

I am involved with a soup-kitchen type of ministry in Mexico. They receive donations of food from the states and currently they have an over abundance of the following foods: Canned spinach, matzo meal (Jewish type), and catchup. None of these foods are foods that the average Mexican would eat and so we are trying to disguise them or make them into something palatable.


They have tried adding the spinach to soup and even making a quiche type breakfast with it. Does anyone have any suggestions or can anyone recommend any websites that might deal with commodities such as these?

Linda from Texas

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November 29, 20070 found this helpful

Just a couple quick ideas:

I'd try substituting the matzo for about half of the masa harina in recipes familiar to your clients, and see if they're willing to eat it. If it works well, try substituting even more to use it up. If it doesn't work well, try a little less.


The matzo can also be used to dip veggies or meats for deep-frying, which is unhealthy and carries its own issues, but might be palatable to your clients. (There are real issues with serving unhealthy food choices, such as high-fat foods, in soup kitchens; but you're probably all too familiar with the need to balance these concerns with the sometimes more immediate need to feed hungry people using the ingredients available at the moment.)

The spinach can be slipped into a myriad of other dishes, such as quesadillas, and might even be OK in beans and rice (although it'll still look unusual to a Mexican eye). It can bake into cornbread, get added to enchiladas, etc., without problem, so long as your clients will eat the results.

By Mary Jo in St. Paul (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

Here's a link to a website that may be helpful to put in the ingredients you have on hand and the website tries to match a recipe using some or all of those items. Thank you for the good work you do!


By Anna (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

My husband is Jewish and he crushes Matzo and added to soups, eggs, tuna salads- you name it. Be careful because too much Matzo can cause constipation. As for the Spinach, how about chopping them real fine and use them as if herbs, or celery, which I add to egg salad, soups, etc
Anna, NYC


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