JoCo EATS program collecting kitchen supplies to help people in need

Community

OLATHE, Kan. — If your kitchen is starting to feel a little too cluttered, the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Office might have a solution for you.

Johnson County Extension Master Food Volunteers (EMFV) are collecting new and gently used kitchen items as part of the JoCo Affordable Tasty Solutions (E.A.T.S.) program.

All donations will be assembled into kitchen restore kits for people in need. 

Kansas State Health and Food Safety Extension Agent Crystal Futrell said the goal of the E.A.T.S. program is to help people find affordable, healthy meal options. 

“If you teach someone how to fish, it’s really hard for them to fish if they don’t have a fishing pole. So with my programs, it’s all about teaching people how to eat healthy, how to be food safe aware. Now we are trying to give them the resources that actually allow them to do those things,” Futrell said.  

Futrell said volunteers hope to give away about 20 kits each week. The estimated value of each kit will be approximately $100. 

Each kit includes:

  • A Meals on a Budget booklet that features recipes with a price per meal breakdown.
  • An instant meat thermometer donated by the Kansas Beef Council. 
  • A JoCo E.A.T.S. magnet showing a link to a website full of recipe options 
  • A variety of kitchen tools and flatware to make healthy meals at home. 

The extension office is partnering with local outreach programs like Safe Home and KVC Health Systems to get kits into the hands of people who need them. 

“The best thing to do if you are interested in receiving a kit is contact your local food pantry. Make them aware of our program and have them reach out to us and we will partner with that program.” Futrell said. 

Anyone interested in becoming a Extension Master Food Volunteer can find more information on the extension office website.

Gently used kitchen items and monetary donations can be dropped off at the Johnson County Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe. Any business or nonprofit interested in donating to the program can contact Futrell by email at Crystal.Futrell@jocogov.org

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