Beginning Our Journey To Scratch Cooking


This past November, the kitchen staff at Meals on Wheels of Lancaster have begun putting plans into action, converting to a scratch kitchen. They’ve done this by putting their heads and hearts together and making stuffed peppers from scratch for our clients! 

 “Our clients deserve to be guaranteed high-quality meals, which means creating more items from scratch with fresh ingredients” says kitchen manager Nathaniel Truitt. Our kitchen leaders here at Lancaster MOW are fairly new, both experienced chefs with culinary degrees. We are taking the opportunity to utilize those skill sets through developing a more thoughtful approach to menu planning for our clients. This means acquiring fresh ingredients to produce made from scratch items. The peppers containing tomato sauce, cooked rice, ground beef, mozzarella and parmesan cheese turned out to be a huge hit. Many of our clients called in giving praises to the kitchen for creating this delicious meal that was served alongside penne pasta and an Italian vegetable blend. 

Although this is only meal one of this project, it looks like we are off to a great start already! It is one of our goals in the new year to continue our transition into a “scratch kitchen” where all of our meals are home-made with fresh ingredients. Eventually each of the meals that are sent out from Lancaster MOW will be scratch-made as if the client were enjoying a home-made meal. Since Lancaster County offers a bounty of fresh produce, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity that we have to serve our clients the high quality nourishment that they deserve. 

 It’s no secret that scratch cooking which avoids commercially processed foods is known to be much healthier. We will have more control over what goes in to our client’s meals while eliminating unhealthy amounts of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other preservatives. We also have the hunch that adapting to a system of non-processed food purchasing will turn out to be far more cost effective for our organization in the future. That way, our funding can be contributed toward other efforts such as volunteer programming, expansion of territories, and other opportunities for our organization to get involved in our community. It has been a huge year of growth for us across the board, and we want to continue going strong in the right direction! We certainly have plenty of people to thank for making these efforts possible for us, and hope that we can continue to pay it forward in the years to come.