Making Sure Nothing Goes To Waste

Tuesday, November 6th 2007, 10:31 am
By: News On 6

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma helps support more than 400 programs in 24 counties, to the tune of about 50,000 meals every month. The News On 6’s Rick Wells reports, often bulk donations to the food bank need to be converted into actual meals. That’s where their chef makes a difference.

Jonathan Haring is working his way through several thousand pounds of donated pumpkins. He says he’ll wash them, cut them in half, and scoop out the seeds. He says each piece will be baked for 40 minutes. Then, the cooked pumpkin will be frozen until it becomes pumpkin soup or something else.

“Can also be used to make pumpkin bread, of course pumpkin pie with the holidays coming up, said Chef Jonathan Haring.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma tries to use everything. Even the pumpkin seeds will be washed, toasted and packaged for snacks for a client agency.

“We salvaged enough food to make 2,800 12 ounce meals that otherwise would have gone in the trash," said Chef Jonathan Haring.

That was within the last month. All that work is done by Jonathan, his assistant and volunteers.

"I'm never bored at work, I'm never complacent. Everything is different every day,” said Chef Jonathan Haring.

The freezer and cooler are full of work already completed. There is chicken stock made from donated chickens. Bread, onions, mushrooms and some of that stock equal dozens of pans of stuffing.

“They just came to me and gave me a heads up there is 500 gallons of milk that's gonna turn bad later in the week,” said Chef Jonathan Haring.

Haring says when he got his job, he felt like he'd won the lottery. Whatever he does, he knows he helps people who need it.

Watch the video: Donations Turned Into Delicacies

For more information about the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, click here.