Williamstown, MA (June 8, 2023) – The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Lasagna Love have launched a pilot program extending the mission of Lasagna Love – feeding families, spreading kindness and strengthening communities – to military caregiver families in 14 regions across the United States.

“As a volunteer, I had a request for a lasagna from a caregiver for a veteran. In talking with her, I wondered how caregivers who are family members handle this responsibility day in and day out – caring for our veterans,” said Mary Breitenstein, Lasagna Love’s Wisconsin and Minnesota Outreach Coordinator and a Local Leader. “What better way to help caregivers and veteran families than to have Lasagna Love provide a hearty meal for them once a month so that they feel supported and appreciated?”

Data from the USDA shows that working age veterans are at greater risk of experiencing food insecurity than the United States population as a whole, with disabled veterans facing even greater risk. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Lasagna Love’s new collaboration aims to reduce this risk. Through the pilot program, veterans, their caregivers, and families in need will be able to request a meal prepared and delivered by a Lasagna Love volunteer on a monthly basis.

“Research from our partners at MFAN tells us that across the nation, one in five military families is struggling with food insecurity,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “Our new collaboration with Lasagna Love is one example of how the Foundation is working to tackle issues related to food insecurity, financial challenges, and mental wellness challenges, which are far too prevalent in the military and veteran community.”

Fourteen pilot regions were selected for their combination of high concentration of military and veteran populations and high concentration of Lasagna Love volunteers. The areas include: Asheville, NC; Chicago – Northside, IL; Colorado; Dallas, TX; East Bay – San Francisco, CA; Long Island, NY; Montgomery County, PA; New Jersey; North San Diego, CA; Northwest Chicago Suburbs, IL; Palm Beach County, FL; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC & Northern Virginia.

The information and learning from this regionally phased pilot program will enable a nationwide rollout for the program.

 “Lasagna Love provides meals to more than 3,500 people in need each week,” said Schwab. “We’re honored to partner with an organization that is providing warm meals to neighbors in need and working to eliminate stigmas associated with asking for help at the local level.”

“A home-cooked meal from a neighbor does more than address issues of food insecurity – it provides a feeling of connectedness that directly impacts emotional well-being.” says Rhiannon Menn, founder and CEO of Lasagna Love. “That is one reason we are excited about our pilot project with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation; our mission and our criteria for impact are aligned on so many levels.”

About the Elizabeth Dole Foundation & Hidden Heroes

Elizabeth Dole Foundation is the preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring our nation’s 5.5 million military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members, and friends — who care for America’s wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans at home. Founded by Senator Elizabeth Dole in 2012, the Foundation adopts a comprehensive approach in its support and advocacy, working with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and faith communities to recognize military caregivers’ service and promote their well-being. The Foundation’s Hidden Heroes Campaign brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and provides a network for military caregivers to connect with their peers and access carefully vetted resources. Visit hiddenheroes.org for more information. For media inquiries, please email info@elizabethdolefoundation.org.

About Lasagna Love

Lasagna Love is a community impact program that connects neighbors through gestures of kindness, goodwill, and support. The nonprofit has joined together more than 45,000 volunteers from around the world and abides by three simple principles: feed families, spread kindness and strengthen communities. Lasagna Love fosters a culture of positivity, empathy, zero-judgment, and maintains a steadfast resolve to deliver comfort when needed most. Lasagna Love volunteers share a seminal purpose: exist to assist. To learn more about Lasagna Love and how to get involved, visit www.lasagnalove.org or its social channels, @WeAreLasagnaLove (Instagram and Facebook). For media inquiries, please email info@lasagnalove.org.