Productivity with Produce

Earlier this week we had another thrilling prep day with Whole Foods Bethesda, producing 42 lbs. of tomato sauce, 47 lbs. of blanched zucchini and squash, 8 lbs. of blanched green peppers, and 12 lbs. of roasted eggplant in just two and a half hours.  Five Whole Foods staff volunteers were ready and eager to cook; with a few awesome appliances like an onion shredder, pepper dicer, and commercial-sized blancher, we made this past Saturday our most productive and efficient prep day yet.  We estimate that the 109 lbs. of prepped food we made that day will contribute to feed 288 people who rely on Bethesda Cares’ hot meals

But we also owe this logistical triumph to our new behind-the-scene volunteers—residents of the Montgomery County Pre-Release Center—who helped us quickly sort, weigh and load Spiral Path’s donations and deliver fresh food to Bethesda Cares and other items we couldn’t preserve (leafy greens, hot peppers, etc.) to Manna Food Center.

The Pre-Release Center is a program that helps residents transition from corrections by providing hands-on volunteer opportunities to give them the experience and skills to re-enter the workforce and give back to our community.  We really appreciate their help last weekend and are very excited that they have agreed to help out each week for the rest of the season!

Our next prep day is filled, but we’re still looking for volunteers through the end of October.  You can sign up any time on MeetUp.  If you’re interested in signing up with a group of friends, students, or colleagues, contact Cheryl Kollin at

We’re looking forward to next weekend where we will prep back at Christ Lutheran Church, hosted by Graceful Growing Together!

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