Lasagna Love: ‘Our Mission Is Simple: Feed Families, Spread Kindness, and Strengthen Communities.’

by | Feb 2024

WE ALL have a comfort food — a dish we continually seek out that can save any bad day and even bring groups of people together. Take, for example, any dish consisting of pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese — lots of ooey-gooey melted cheese. 

During 2020, amid COVID, Rhiannon Menn of San Diego began brainstorming ways to offer “contactless” comfort to her neighbors. This led her to establish Lasagna Love. 

Baking a lasagna to share with a stranger has caught on all over the nation, even spreading beyond our borders to Canada and Australia. 1.6 million lives have now been impacted, 400,000 meals have been provided, and through their network of 48,000 volunteers, 3,500 lasagnas are baked and delivered weekly. 

According to Lasagna Love, “Americans were looking for a safe and thoughtful way to stay connected at a time when we were disconnected from everyone and everything. The ultimate vision of this nonprofit is to weave kindness back into the very fabric of our everyday lives. Even as we emerge from the pandemic, acts of kindness will forever be welcome. Our mission is simple: feed families, spread kindness, and strengthen communities. Our efforts not only help address food insecurity but also provide a simple act of love and kindness during a time full of uncertainty and stress.” 

Anyone can receive a lasagna simply by going to the Lasagna Love website and signing up. During the next step, they will match you with a volunteer who will note any dietary restrictions, such as gluten allergies, and how many people are in your household. The volunteer will then schedule a delivery day and time for your lasagna. 

For those whose love language is baking, Lasagna Love provides the perfect outlet. Interested participants sign up through the website and then complete brief online training associated with safe food preparation. Volunteer chefs stay in control of how often they wish to take part. 

Niki Bennett joined Lasagna Love as a volunteer during the summer of 2022 and quickly earned a promotion. She now serves as the local leader for Western Kentucky. As a mother of three, a recent empty nester, and a soon-to-be grandmother who works full time and will soon return to school part time, Bennett’s plate is full. However, she still manages to make time for Lasagna Love. 

“I’ve had many traumas and losses in the last four years that made me feel like I was missing out on my purpose in life. I needed a reason to smile, and a Facebook ad led me to Lasagna Love. I signed up in August of last year to be a chef but then became the local leader of my region because I wanted to bring more awareness to the Western Kentucky/ Bowling Green area. In the months since I began volunteering with Lasagna Love, the community has really taken hold of the program. I plan on doing some outreach and recruitment in Bowling Green later this summer.” 

Bennett continues, “I have found volunteering and serving others to be really fulfilling, and it gave me a purpose again. I know having a good meal in front of me always made me forget for a second what I was going through. If I can give that type of comfort to others, it makes my soul smile. I love cooking, and I love to feed others. It’s a win-win for me.” 

According to the regional director, Maureen Feuti, Lasagna Love is also an excellent idea for an upcoming service opportunity. 

“We recently had a sorority in Bowling Green choose us as their charity for a service project. They made and delivered lasagnas to local families who were on our waiting list. We are also a great choice for church groups, scouts, businesses, professional organizations, and even student groups like the National Honor Society. We would love to talk to you about how you can do good in your own community with us.” 

July 29 marks the celebration of National Lasagna Day! After partnering with Ragú, Galbani Cheese, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Pegasystems, Whirlpool, and others, Lasagna Love hopes to add 100 new monthly donors and 1000 new lasagna chefs. They aim to raise over $100,000 and deliver over 10,000 lasagnas. Sign up today to help them reach their goal. GN 

More Good News

Alumni Helping Alumni

Alumni Helping Alumni

“WE ARE stronger together” has become a motto used to encourage individuals to band together to accomplish a greater good for the entire community. In keeping with this growing momentum across the...

read more
In Other News

In Other News

Bowling Green Recognizes New Citizens The city of Bowling Green celebrated the country’s new citizens during its annual Reception for New Americans Sept. 14 at the Sloan Convention Center. The city...

read more
In Other News

“In Other News.”

Breast Cancer Detection App Created by Western Kentucky University Alumna. IN 2003, while taking a shower, Jessica Baladad noticed a lump in her breast, which led to its removal, and she began...

read more
Letter From the Editor: Saluting Our Local Heroes

Letter From the Editor: Selfess

THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER dictionary defines the word selfless as “someone who has no concern for self, or unselfish.” As the world keeps turning, it may feel like selfless people are few and far between....

read more