St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Mechanicsburg, Pa., started the equivalent of a frozen food bank to help people and families who can't cook for themselves. Members contribute casseroles, breads and desserts to a community freezer. They are there when needs arise.
Here are some tips for starting a frozen-meal bank: Start with no more than five meals and keep inventory. Date and label all foods (include cooking instructions) and use them within a month. Use newsletters, meetings or prayer chains to call for more meals as needed. Share ideas of casseroles and main dishes that freeze well. Don't forget bread, coffee cake and dessert. Tape a caring message or a favorite Bible passage to the container.
M.J. Smith, a registered dietician and cookbook author, is a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Guttenberg, Iowa.