Many Americans have used their stimulus checks to pay for living costs, mutual aid or savings, but one creative woman in Washington has used hers on something unique: Lasagna!
Michelle Brenner, who’s now known as “The Lasagna Lady,” has baked hundreds of lasagnas for a good cause. She’s distributing them for free to people in her community in Gig Harbor, Washington.
While lasagna donations may seem unusual, Brenner had a great reason to go this route. After being furloughed from her job during the coronavirus pandemic, Brenner has been active with efforts to get groceries and prescriptions delivered to folks in her neighborhood.
She noticed many people asking for frozen lasagna — a filling, easy meal. But Brenner, whose family has roots in Sicily, knew that frozen lasagna wasn’t the real deal. So, she decided to make an offer on her community Facebook page.
“You have a die-hard Italian living in your town who loves lasagna, and if anybody needs one or wants one, I’d love to make you one and I’ll even deliver it for free,” Brenner wrote, per Better Homes & Gardens.
Just look at this yummy-looking tray of cheesy goodness, which Brenner shared on her Facebook!
People were eager to sign up for free homemade lasagnas, and Brenner was soon flooded with requests. She spent her entire $1,200 stimulus check on ingredients for 400 lasagnas over the course of the next four weeks.
In total, she’s now created over 1,200 lasagnas, all of which she delivered to neighbors’ porches, fresh and waiting to be put in the oven.
Now that the Lasagna Lady operation is growing, Brenner has transitioned to cooking in a donated commercial kitchen space and using donations to purchase the lasagna ingredients. In a post on her Facebook page, Brenner links to the Facebook donations page and she notes that “[m]any essential workers continue to enjoy the lasagna comfort and those workers include law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, retail workers, senior homes and military. Through the comfort of lasagna WE have made a difference and I know WE will continue to do so.”
She’s received $23,000 so far in donations, which will allow her to keep doing this work and perhaps expand even further. And she’s got big ambitions: Brenner says she hopes to be able to feed 50,000 people.
Here she is, celebrating in her Lasagna Lady T-shirt.
“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything but what I should have done,” Brenner told Better Home & Gardens. “I’m just the person to be honored to do this and be a part of it by making lasagnas.”