Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Educating people about eating squash

This response to Pumpkin Patch Dream Realized came to me as email, but is too good and important not to share with all. 

Dorothy's main concern is food pantry participants' lack of knowledge of what to do with squash, and she makes some suggestions about what to do about it. Please read this message and comment on the blog with other ideas you have to help promote eating squash.
Josh, and others donating to food pantries,

If you haven't already, a quick something to consider over the summer. I was at the Allied Boys and Girls Club food pantry last fall and they were having a hard time giving away squash. They said that the residents were unfamiliar with it and had no idea what to do with it.

It would be good to have preparation information and simple recipes available. Most food panty participants do not do fancy cooking and do not have money to buy elaborate ingredients, so it would generally be a waste of paper to print more than very basic recipes.

A photo display of various squash matched up with info about each that would stay available for the season, then a couple recipes for varieties available that day, would be perfect.
royalty-free photo from

Pumpkin pies for the holidays would be about as fancy as they generally get. Even for that, they're used to making it from a can, so start with how to prepare a pumpkin to be made into a pie.... and reasons it's worth the effort compared to pouring it out of a can.

Hopefully you planted a lot of spaghetti squash. I'd really love to see people appreciating it instead of pasta.

If there will be decorative squash and pumpkins, instructions for what to do with those would be good also, especially those that focus on children's activities.

Would American Family be willing to work with food pantry coordinators to help figure out a marketing program to help integrate fresh vegetables into their clients diets? There really is an amazingly large hole.

Dorothy Krause
Fitchburg Common Council
Dane County Board of Supervisors