While the coronavirus pandemic has brought about fear and anxiety across the world, it has also brought forth many people that are working relentlessly to help others in distress. And the story of Michelle Brenner is one such inspiring story!
Michelle Brenner, like many others, was furloughed from her workplace due to the coronavirus pandemic: she worked at a menswear store in Gig Harbor, Washington.
Michelle realized that she was not one of those that could idle away her time. And she thought she could utilize this time to help the elderly in her community who are facing the brunt of the pandemic, finding it very difficult to arrange for groceries, food, and provisions for themselves.
And so, she began to work as a shopper for Instacart – a grocery delivery and pickup service in the United States. She realized that there was one item that shoppers ordered very frequently – frozen lasagna.
When Michelle delivered this order to one of the customers in his late nineties, he told her that he had not eaten fresh food in over fifty days!
Deeply touched by this, Michelle decided that she had to do more for her community. So, she did some grocery of her own, pulled her grandmother’s lasagna recipe, and cooked a delicious meal for her family.
And once the lasagna was ready, she did what most of us have been in the past few months when in quarantine: clicked a super picture of the sumptuous food and and put it up on social media. But, she also did something not a lot of us do: she offered to make freshly cooked lasagna and deliver it absolutely free of charge to anyone who needed it.
And, she received quite a few requests!
She then spent her entire stimulus check of $1,200 on the ingredients required for the lasagna, put on her apron, and began cooking!
Would you believe that Michelle made close to 130 lasagnas and delivered it to people that had requested it!
“The whole point of this is to spread that sense of community wherever we can through the comfort of lasagna,” she said. “So, I don’t want anybody to feel disincluded because reality is there are people out there who can’t afford a dollar.”
And since then, Michelle has been as busy as ever – she has worked around eight to 14 hours each day without a single day off for the past three months!
While she started off this initiative from her own kitchen, the orders were just getting too many to manage from her home. She was, recently, given access to use the commercial kitchen at the Gig Harbor Sportsman’s club free of cost.
And so inspiring was her work that many of her community members offered to help her by making donations. They raised a series of fundraisers to ensure that Michelle keeps this initiative going. In the past few weeks, they raised close to $23,000 for her, which helped Michelle cook a whopping 1,275 pans of lasagna.
Michelle has been extremely touched by the impact that her initiative has among people of her community. For instance, she said that one man that she served the lasagna to had just lost his son as well as his father to COVID-19 whereas another woman said that she donated the lasagna to the nurses that took care of her mother in the Alzheimer’s ward in the hospital. Another family that she delivered the lasagna to broke down and said that they did not have enough money to celebrate the holiday.
Calling this endeavor and experience “a dream come true,” Michelle is still not sure of what would happen once the furlough ends.
However, we wish that she continues the amazing work she has been doing!
What do you think about this wonderful initiative by Michelle? Do share with us your views in the comments section below.