Hand2Hand Ministries: simple recipes for kids using donated food

As we mentioned earlier this week, we’re excited to participate in Hand2Hand Ministry’s food drive. This important ministry feeds over 3,000 food insecure school children in our own West Michigan community each weekend by sending home backpacks of nonperishable goods – like granola bars, canned chicken, applesauce and soup.

REMINDER: we’re accepting donations of nonperishable, nutritious food items through November 1st! Drop your donations off at either of our Grand Rapids or Grand Haven stores. Want to donate cash instead? Donate directly to Hand2Hand Ministries online.

This wonderful organization – and your generous donations – help to make sure that kids who might not get to eat between Friday’s school lunch and Monday morning’s school breakfast receive nutritious food over the weekend, so they can learn and live better.

But just because kids are relying on basic nonperishable goods doesn’t mean their Hand2Hand meals have to be boring.

To help support this cause, we’ve whipped up a few very simple recipes, using only the ingredients kids receive in their Hand2Hand food backpacks. These are simple enough for kids to do at home. They’re also a great way for you to purge your canned goods pantry in a fun, delicious way!

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Simplesauce Parfait

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 regular unsweetened applesauce cup
  • 1 flavored applesauce cup (strawberry, etc.)
  • 2 crunchy granola bars, crushed
  • 1 fruit cup, drained (any kind of fruit works!)

Using two clear cups (regular kitchen glasses work nicely), spoon in 1/2 of the plain applesauce into the bottom of each cup. Next, layer over 1/4 of the crushed granola bars in each cup (you should have 1/2 the granola left). Spoon 1/2 of the fruit over the granola. Top the granola with the flavored applesauce, again spooning 1/2 the applesauce into each cup. Last, divide the remaining granola over each parfait.



Simple Bread Pudding

Makes 2 servings

Note: this recipe takes a few days to prepare, so if you’re making dinner for Sunday, start preparing this Friday night.

  • 4 slices plain white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 an 8 oz can of chicken (you can also use tuna fish)
  • 1 can of chicken & rice soup (you can also use cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, or just about any other type of canned, non-condensed soup!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cube the 4 slices of the bread into 1 inch cubes (be careful when using a knife!). Lay these out in a pan, and place them in a warm, dry place to dry overnight. The bread needs to be dry and hard to the touch.

The next day, once the bread is dry, in a mixing bowl, combine the bread, the 1/2 can of chicken (juice included), the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the can of soup. Mix well with a large spoon or spatula. Next, spoon the mixture into a small casserole dish (4×4 is good), or any oven-proof glass, steel or ceramic pan.

Cover the dish with tinfoil or cling wrap, and store in the refrigerator overnight.

1 hour before you’re ready to eat, remove the cling wrap and place the casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown – but be sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn!

Have other ideas for recipes kids can make using their Hand2Hand food? Share them with us!

Make an impact: donate food to Hand2Hand Ministries now – November 1st

Starting today, we – along with JQ99 and several other local businesses – are collecting food donations for children who are going hungry on the weekends, right in our own backyard.  Everything collected will go directly to these children through Hand 2 Hand Ministries.

Hand 2 Hand Ministries works through churches and local businesses to bring food to OVER 3,000 hungry children EVERY weekend.The goal for this drive is to collect 2,000 pounds of food, and $5,000 in donations total. This drive is being spearheaded by JQ99FM and The PledgeFM, and is being sponsored by ourselves, Batteries + Bulbs, The Good Earth, DeGraaf Interiors and Vredevoogd Brummel.

What to donate

All food items need to be non-perishable, and the type of food which won’t be damaged or smushed when packed alongside other food in a backpack. But that doesn’t mean the food has to be nutritionless! Below is a list of high protein, high nutrition food items Hand2Hand Ministries is requesting.

Dream items are:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Cans of chicken
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Breakfast/Granola Bars
  • Fruit, pudding or applesauce cups

Snack packs:

  • 100% fruit juice boxes
  • Meat sticks
  • Cracker packs
  • Breakfast bars
  • Fruit snacks
  • Popcorn packets
  • Trail mix (individual sized)
  • Small boxes of raisins
  • Any kind of small bagged snack (goldfish, animal crackers, etc.)

Nutritious food:

  • Small boxes of low sugar cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned chicken or tuna
  • Canned pasta (Ravioli, Beefaroni, SpaghettiOs, etc.), 15oz cans
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Cans of soup
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Oatmeal (Single serve packages)


Both our Grand Rapids and Grand Haven stores are drop-off locations for this drive. Stop by either showroom now through November 1st to drop off your food donations.

We’ll be talking about the drive Friday morning on The Pledge 96.5FM, and on Saturday from 10am-1pm with JQ99 99.3FM. Be sure to listen during these times to learn more about the drive – and about the many positive changes that have been happening at Bekins lately.

With your help, we can make an incredible impact.

Thank you for helping us with the attack on childhood hunger!