So far, she has made more than 1,275 pans of lasagna for friends, neighbors, first responders and anyone who needs good fresh food – without charging anyone.
For Brenner, this is the work of love and she has no plans to stop.
“I knew it was my moment in my life to go back to the people who paved the way for my life to have the 45 years of life I had,” she told CNN.
Brenner, who moved to Gig Harbor, Washington, about six years ago, was rocked by work at a menswear store after the Covid-19 crash. She quickly realized that it was not very good to sit around.
She said she decided she wanted to help elderly members of her community and those who could not go out and shop for themselves because of the pandemic.
So, she registered to work as an Instacart buyer. She spent only two days working with the grocery delivery app – but during that time she noticed a product her customers kept looking for: frozen lasagna.
One of these clients was a man in his nineties. Brenner said she supplied him with frozen lasagna and other items, and he admitted that he had not had fresh food for nearly a month and a half.
This moment inspired Brenner to make some grocery purchases and take the ingredients to make his family fresh lasagna according to Grandma’s recipe.
“Frozen lasagna is not a delicacy,” she said. “I’m not a fan of frozen lasagna. I’m very Italian.”
After her dish came out of the oven, Brenner jumped on Facebook to do what so many others did during quarantine: Share your home-cooked food on social media. In his post, Brenner offered to make her lasagna and deliver it for free to anyone who wants one.
When she received enough requests, she went to the store and spent her $ 1,200 to stimulate the ingredients and started cooking.
She made more than 130 lasagna and distributed them to those who asked for free.
“The whole point of this is to spread the sense of community where we can, through the comfort of lasagna,” she said. “So, I don’t want anyone to feel unhappy, because the reality is that there are people who can’t afford a dollar.”
Surgery for a woman
This is an operation for a woman. Brenner spends eight to 14 hours a day cooking on her own. She spent the last 90 days working without a day off.
“A lot of us go to work and want to go home right away … and I’ve never had that feeling,” she said of her recent cooking venture.
Brenner began the operation in his own home, pushing his kitchen to the limit and placing a non-contact closet in his front yard.
She recently said she received free use of a commercial kitchen at athlete Gig Harbor’s club, which allowed her to expand her business.
The process of spreading the lasagna allowed Brenner to see the impact of his work first hand.
One family, she said, cried when she arrived at Easter because without lasagna and other treats, they told her they didn’t have enough money to celebrate this year. Another man Brenner was feeding told her that he had recently lost both his father and his young son in Kovid-19. One woman told Brenner that she was donating lasagna to nurses caring for their mother in the Alzheimer’s Ward.
Brenner said she felt that lasagna provided her with more than just food: it created an opportunity to bind family members.
“It’s a family meal. It’s time to sit together. It makes memories, it’s conversations,” she said. “It’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”
Although she distributes lasagna for free, many in her community want to get involved. They decided to organize a series of fundraisers online to help Brenner continue the operation. In the last nine weeks, Brenner has said they have raised more than $ 23,000 for it – which translates into 1,275 pans of lasagna.
While Brenner did not know what would happen when her furrow was over, she said she had no plans to stop lasagna for others. She called the experience of creating lasagna for her community a “dream come true.”
“People say” are you tired? “Brenner said,” and I go, “you know, I don’t have time to think about it. I have lasagna. “