PHOENIX — After a rough day or try a rough several months, you’ll be hard pressed to find much else that tastes better than a good, home-cooked meal from the heart.
What started as one neighbor cooking meals for a few others is now feeding thousands nationwide.
Alaina Raetz is one of the Valley lasagna mamas, giving back to her neighbors.
“Sometimes a home-cooked meal is not something they’ve had in a very long time," Raetz said.
“We never know what struggle someone is going through, or if they’ve lost income due to the pandemic."
Christina Cranston is a local teacher and she’s cooking up her special baked ziti lasagna too. These mamas, they get the struggles people are facing.
“So many challenges during the day that by the end of the day dinner is sometimes the last thing you want to deal with," Cranston said. "So I’m happy to be able to give this to some families that need it.”
Christina and Alaina are just two Arizonans who have teamed up with the growing national group, Lasagna Love.
Rhiannon Menn is the founder.
“I was watching the moms in my community lose childcare and lose jobs and feel like they were struggling," Menn said.
"I love to cook and my 3-year-old also loves to. We were lucky we got a big Costco delivery one day and it was more than we could eat so we started making meals.”
At the start of the pandemic, Menn offered to make meals through social media in her San Diego neighborhood.
Both the need for food and want to help exploded.
“Now we have incredibly more than 2,000 lasagna mamas and papas across the country all cooking and delivering meals to families in their community," Menn said.
It doesn’t take much to throw your special recipe in the mix.
“It’s a small effort I can do in my community to give back and love on other families," Raetz said.
Your favorite ingredients, an oven and the warmth of home are more than enough.
“It just feels like it’s directly from one person to another, so I really like that," Cranston said.
And when it comes time to get that meal to another table, it can all be done physically distantly too. Filling hearts of the cook and and families in need of a warm meal from one home to another.
Lasagna Love is looking for families asking for meals here in the Valley, and they’re always accepting mamas and papas who want to cook.