Making Meals Out of Common Mobile Pantry Foods

Volunteer holding up walnuts and peppers

What happens when you get food from a Mobile Food Pantry but aren’t quite sure what to do with it?

As your local food bank, we believe everyone deserves access to nutritious food as well as food education. Since our Mobile Pantries often include seasonal produce items—such as cabbage, peppers, broccoli and sweet potatoes—we want to make sure people have easily accessible opportunities to learn how to make a tasty meal with what they receive!

Man in his car with his dog

In an effort to share ideas on how to utilize common Mobile Pantry foods to make delicious meals, Feeding America West Michigan has partnered with Northern Michigan University’s Center for Rural Health and the Marquette Food Coop to create an initiative called Recipe for Success.

This cooperative program takes place at Mobile Pantries across the Upper Peninsula. It involves distributing recipe cards and samples for those in line at a Mobile Pantry, as well as providing access to online cooking demonstrations. Each recipe card and sample handed out at a Mobile Pantry utilizes foods that neighbors will receive that same day.

Muhammara recipe and sample

For one Mobile Pantry held at Northern Michigan University, the recipe of the day was Muhammara. This roasted red pepper dip was chosen since peppers and walnuts were two food items on the Mobile Pantry menu that day.

One neighbor, Terry, particularly enjoys cooking and was especially appreciative to have a new recipe to try. He has routinely enjoyed trying new things every time recipes have been provided.

“I love the recipes you guys come up with. [Today’s recipe] was very good. I enjoy them and so does my wife.”

Another neighbor picks up food for 19 other families, and likes being able to share the recipes with them as well.

“I really like what you guys are doing here with the samples. This one today was fantastic. The recipes are personable, easy, and they are up to speed.”

While these recipes are being shared in person in the Upper Peninsula, they are also available online so that those outside of that region can access them as well.

To access the library of recipes and cooking demos, check out NMU’s Center for Rural Health page. You can also find them on our website,

This collaboration is sponsored by the Superior Health Foundation. We are so grateful for their support in helping us share nutritious recipes with neighbors in the Upper Peninsula to inspire new ways of cooking common Mobile Pantry foods!

Written by Content Specialist Kelly Reitsma