Long Islanders give back to neighbors with free trays of lasagna
A grassroots movement on Long Island is working to help feed people during the pandemic.
Dix Hills resident Lauren Chizner is the Long Island coordinator of "Lasagna Love," a global grassroots movement that provides free trays of lasagna to people struggling financially.
"It's the rising costs, it's job insecurity, it's illness, it's all of these things compounded into one," Chizner says.
People sign up to cook, donate or request a dish then givers and recipients are paired by their location.
Since March 2020, more than 100,000 Americans have been fed by the program
There are Lasagna Love chapters in all 50 states plus Australia, Canada and Puerto Rico. A total of 20,000 volunteers mask 3,500 trays of lasagna a week.
Island Park resident Debbie Vespoli signed up for a meal because her emphysema makes it life-threatening for her to go outside during the pandemic.
"I wished they had more people out like Lauren because she's a godsend," Vespoli says.
Being a part of the program is a reward in itself for Chizner.
"It's love and care," Chizner says. "Knowing that I'm cooking lasagna for another family and easing their burden for one night, it makes you feel good."