Closing Gaps in the Food Cycle

As a local farm-to-table professional, Lucky Penny Creamery‘s Abbe Turner saw distressing gaps in the local food cycle. From 2010-2012, 1 in 6 Ohio families experienced food insecurity. On any given day, 97,000 children in northeast Ohio are hungry. Yet we generate 35 million tons of food waste annually.

Community food banks provide groceries to the needy, but recipient homes often lack the necessary tools to prepare and enjoy the food: pots, pans, plates, forks and knives. Abbe founded Recycle Pots and Pans to close that gap, simultaneously reducing landfill waste by repurposing castoff kitchen items.

Community members help Abbe lead collection drives throughout the year (on America Recycles Day, Earth Day, etc.), benefitting 115 families and eight nonprofit organizations to date. THANK YOU for your donations, so struggling families can gather around a table of home-cooked meals.

America Recycles Day 2013

What good is a box of donated food if you don’t know how to cook or don’t have essential kitchen equipment to prepare and serve it?

This question plagued Portage County farmer, cheesemaker and restaurateur Abbe Turner. So she co-founded Recycle Pots and Pans to provide that missing link for people who find themselves without food or an equipped kitchen due to house fire, domestic abuse, job loss, illness, return from active duty,  or divorce.

“Families who eat together stay together,” Turner says. To date, Recycle Pots and Pans has equipped 54 homes with a full set of pots, pans, utensils, dinnerware and whatever is needed to cook and serve a meal at the kitchen table.

This year, America Recycles Day is Saturday, November 9. It’s also the day you can donate your used pots, pans and kitchenware at collection centers at The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (10am-4pm) or at Turner’s Lucky Penny Creamery (noon-5pm) at 632 Temple Avenue in Kent, the headquarters for Recycle Pots and Pans.

Recycle Pots and Pans doesn’t donate directly to individuals or families, but contributes to several nonprofit organizations, including Safer Futures, CCAC, veterans groups,  and The Cleveland Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy group.

We accept mostly cooking and eating utensils, measuring cups, glasses, dishware, pans and small appliances that are still in fair condition — essentially everything needed to make and serve a home-cooked meal. (Neither refrigerators nor stoves are accepted.) Thank you for helping us help others to eat together and stay together as they start over together.