Havertown Girl Scout creates cookbook to help food pantry clients

"My grandma thought it would be a good idea to write a cookbook since I cook so much," said Emma.

Katherine Scott Image
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Girl Scout creates cookbook to help food pantry clients
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Emma went into the food pantry and inventoried all the canned and boxed items donated to the pantry on a consistent basis.

HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Fourteen-year-old Emma Carroll of Havertown, Delaware County has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten.

As part of earning her Girl Scout Silver Award, the 8th grader needed a sustainable, long-lasting project.

"My grandma thought it would be a good idea to write a cookbook since I cook so much," said Emma.

Not just any cookbook, but a cookbook that would help clients of Grands Stepping Up - Denis' Pantry.

The whole Carroll family has supported the food pantry since it opened in 2020.

Emma contacted GSU president and founder Karen Barnes about the project last summer.

Emma went into the food pantry and inventoried all the canned and boxed items donated to the pantry on a consistent basis.

"It was pretty hard to find recipes for some of the stuff," said Emma.

"I thought, 'what could I make out of this, and would people like it?'" she added.

Barnes said Emma went out shopping with her parents and got all the items.

"She really is very creative in creating things that we have right here at the pantry," said Barnes.

Emma tried different recipes at home with her family appointed as testers.

Emma wanted to make sure the recipes tasted good and were not too complicated.

"It's basic recipes. It's not going to take hours. Minimal time," said Emma.

Small Things Philly supports dozens of area food pantries including this Denis' Pantry.

"You're getting items from a food pantry, you don't always get to figure out what that is, and you may not know how to utilize it the best way possible to feed your family," said Rev. Vito Baldini, executive director of Small Things.

"To have this resource, to be able to pass out to the community, is really just an amazing thing," emphasized Baldini.

The idea was to help clients of this food pantry, but it turns out that this project will go far beyond.

Baldini surprised Emma with the announcement that Small Things will make this cookbook accessible to all their roughly 50 food pantries in the region. The non-profit will also post the recipes on its website.

"That's a lot of people," remarked a very stunned Emma.

"To have people lead like Emma and take initiative to do something like this- I think it really paves the way for other people to step in and be involved as well," said Baldini.

"Having this guide, this roadmap if you will, to be able to utilize this food- this is just full circle for our whole community and I could not be more proud of her," said Barnes.