Spread kindness through lasagna: 'Lasagna Love' volunteers now making deliveries in metro Detroit

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 12:28:25-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — There's nothing quite like a home cooked meal made with love that can make a bad day a little brighter.

Lasagna Love, a nonprofit that was launched in the spring of 2020 by a mother in California, is now active in the metro Detroit area.

Photo: Rhiannon Menn, Lasagna Love founder

The idea is simple, while the impact is anything but: individuals who are interested in making lasagna to spread kindness to their neighbors sign up to volunteer, anyone who wants a home cooked meal signs up for a delivery, a match is made and a lasagna makes its way to a family or individual who needs a pick-me-up.

Jolie Abreu is the regional leader for Lasagna Love in the metro Detroit area, first becoming involved with the organization in December of 2020.

Photo: Jolie Abreu, regional leader

"I’m a real estate agent, I’m in the community a lot, I hear a lot of people’s situations and stories, whether it’s the busy family or a food disparity . . . I kind of see it," said Jolie, who lives in Wixom.

She said when she first joined, there were about 16 volunteers in the metro Detroit area; now, that number has swelled to 107. The request for lasagnas has grown, too. In the beginning, Jolie said they were serving about 10 requests a week compared to the 50+ lasagnas delivered just last week.

"It's been really neat to see it grow," she said.

On a national level, Lasagna Love served out about 10,000 lasagnas in 2020. The organization is at the halfway point now just two weeks into January of 2021; a good indication of how big the nonprofit, which is active in 47 states, has grown in such a short time.

Jolie said anyone can request a lasagna.

"There’s no rhyme or reason, there’s no prerequisite," she said. "It doesn’t have to be a food disparity or any sort of financial crisis . . . sometimes it really is just the two working parents with the kids at home on Zoom school and it's just too much."

In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Jolie said the volunteers do contactless drop-offs and just text the recipient once the lasagna has arrived and is on their porch or outside their door.

To donate, sign up to be a volunteer for Lasagna Love or to request a lasagna, go here.

Jolie said people can also email her directly if they want to donate at a local level: She said she's already had one restaurant owner reach out to donate supplies.

Jolie said she enjoys helping through Lasagna Love because it provides an outlet for helping ease the burden many people are facing right now.

"It’s more rewarding for me almost than the person I’m helping, just to have that impact," said Jolie.