Culinary Thanksgiving Meal Kit for Families

Culinary+Thanksgiving+Meal+Kit+for+Families

Emma Souza, Staff Writer

Wayzata Culinary department puts a holiday spin on Covid meal kits the week before Thanksgiving.

Michelle Sagedahl, Culinary Director, said the idea for a Thanksgiving-themed meal kit has procured for a while.

“Right now with…USDA federal funds, we are able to provide students meals for distance learning days. So we took a different spin on providing these meals and decided to roll it into a turkey-themed kit,” she said over a Zoom call. 

“The idea kind of came to me a month ago when I was talking to closeby districts,” Sagedahl said. “As soon as we decided to move forward it was about a month in total of continuous planning for that one day.”

“This was made possible with just how USDA federal funds are supporting us right now, with school meals being free for everyone,” said Sagedahl.

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), their Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is “extending a suite of nationwide waivers…through the end of 2020…[that] ensures meal options for children will continue to be available so children can access meals under all circumstances.”

Sagedahl said supporting local businesses was an important aspect of the Thanksgiving meal kits.

“I was…looking at how we can support some of the businesses we’re selling on a regular school year that we aren’t this year,” Sagedahl said. 

“Most of Ferndale Farms’ turkeys that we use go to restaurants for meals, and [Ferndale Farms] said that’s declined dramatically,” Sagedahl said. 

According to Sagedahl, each meal kit contained an 8-10 pound turkey, …delicata squash, Brussels sprouts, apples, …cinnamon rolls, …dinner rolls, …a banana chocolate chip loaf, gravy, …caramel, …[and] milk.

“The main local items were the breads from Breadsmith, the turkey, the apples, and then the milk. We couldn’t source local brussels sprouts and delicata right now,” Sagedahl said.

“The turkey kit was bigger, [since there are] no school days over Thanksgiving break. Other kits that we regularly do are themed kits like Taco Kit, State Fair, Wing Night, Italian Night, and Build Your Own Flatbread Pizza,” Sagedahl said.

The meal kit distribution on November 18th with a drive-through system.
Photo by Wayzata Public Schools Facebook Page

Sagedahl said she thinks the logistics and distribution [of the meal kits] went smoothly.

“Cars came into a warehouse-like building…we had four filling stations, so four cars were getting filled at a time,” Sagedahl said.

“During our peak busy time was when most people were getting off of work…that’s when we had a line of traffic and people did have to wait a little bit longer than earlier in the day,” Sagedahl said.

“Buildings & Grounds…were a huge part of helping us [get] all the food there to the site…They also helped us with directing traffic and even with replenishing the food,” Sagedahl said.

According to Sagedahl, there were a total of 2,500 kits made, and the kit itself was enough to feed four to six people.

“If you were an enrolled student you could access one of the kits. We might have one or two kits left, but we did ‘sell out,’” Sagedahl said.

“Another goal of these kits is that [they] help some families financially, but hopefully it helps some families also take the stress off around Thanksgiving planning and cooking,” Sagedahl said.