Graphic courtesy Silver Spring Cares.

Five local nonprofit groups are teaming up this week to fill freezers with freshly cooked food for hungry and food insecure populations in a project called Casseroles for a Cause.

Silver Spring Cares is heading up the effort in partnership with Shepherds Table, Interfaith Works—Carroll House Men’s Shelter, The Arc Montgomery County and Difference Makers.

“I was looking for a creative way for people to be able to volunteer on their own time in their own homes, but also serve a number of organizations in our community,” said Heather Foley, Silver Spring Cares executive director.

“The one thing everyone does in their home is cook, and you can really help a lot of people that way,” she continued.

Silver Spring Cares will pick up the casseroles cooked by volunteers and then will deliver them to the participating organizations, who will then get meals to their clients.

The goal is to get 140 casseroles (the number is limited by the amount of freezer space available), which will serve about 1,000 meals, and the group is almost there already.

Volunteers who sign up to participate will receive a return email with instructions, suggested recipes and tips on hosting if they’d like to turn casserole cooking into a social event with friends and neighbors.

The Silver Spring Cares team will pick up the frozen casseroles on Saturday, Oct. 7, but they can be made and frozen ahead of time. Some of the recipes come from the partner organizations.

“For example, we have some suggested recipes from Shepherds Table,” Foley said. “Their favorite that they love to serve is their ‘Zippy Beef’ recipe. It’s really easy to make and apparently it is a crowd favorite.”

“Receiving casseroles, especially on a regular basis, helps us save money, gives our Chefs a much-needed break to make one less item for lunch or dinner, while ensuring that our guests are still eating high quality and delicious food,” said Jilna Kothary of Shepherds Table in an email statement. “Often times, this assistance for one meal could give the chefs time to make something more labor-intensive for the same meal that they would not be able to otherwise, so it’s a win-win!”

For more information, email [email protected]

Mike Diegel