EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Continued success for Food for Lane County in a recent effort to get more protein rich meals out to the community, as a simple soup mix has been flying off its pantry shelves while drawing applause from other food shelters and big donations from west coast farmers.
Instead of focusing on protein rich donations of canned food, recently, Food for Lane County turned to a new idea: Put together a package of locally grown ingredients for a homemade soup that's easy to make.
The agency came up with a lentil and barley soup that volunteers spent their time on Thursday, June 8th, 2012 putting in packages.
The lentil and barley soup is packed with two packets of chili-powder seasoning. Each package provides two servings. One serving is virtually all of a person’s daily fiber needs and almost half of a person’s protein needs.
The ingredients are local to Lane County as well. The lentils and barley came from Camas Country Mills at a lower cost. The spice came from Glory Bee Foods.
Food pantry's across Oregon and in other states are copying this idea now, which has been significantly cheap, easy and successful for Food for Lane County.
"Food supply is a problem and we know that and we don't think it's going to get much better. So we're just trying to be creative and innovative and see what we can do to stay ahead of this curve,” says Beverlee Hughes, Executive Director of Food for Lane County.
“We think the product is going to fly off the shelves so quickly that we're going to run out too soon,” says Hughes.
A total of 4,500 units were packaged on Friday. Each food shelter than Food for Lane County works with will get some of the product in the coming days and weeks.
When cooked, the soup is like a thick chili. However, FFLC says the soup is very versatile and we can be whipped up into almost everything including burritos, paired with meats, watered down, put into a salad or whatever you prefer.
OSU’s Extension Office will also demo and let people sample this chili at food pantries across the area in the coming weeks.
Food for Lane County is looking to make some more of the soup for distribution as well, but it needs barley to do it.
As for the lentils, recently, an Idaho farmer heard about the soup's success and thought it was so cool that he actually donated 10,000 pounds of lentils to FFLC so that it could make more.
FFLC is now hoping to either find the barley to match the lentils either through a donation or purchase.