by Dennis Dalman
A Bible study session inspired Ben Prigge of St. Joseph to make home-cooked dinners for people in the area who might be in need of a meal this Easter Sunday, April 4.
So far, as of March 20, he and about a dozen volunteers are committed to cooking 331 free dinners. Anyone who would like a dinner should contact Prigge as soon as possible – preferably by Friday night or early Saturday morning – at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cooking volunteers live in various cities throughout the greater St. Cloud area. One of them, a family in Big Lake, will deliver one of their home-cooked meals to a recipient as far away as South St. Paul. But most meals will be picked up or delivered right here in central Minnesota.
The Faith Feeds volunteer cooks will make as many meals as needed, even if it means buying more food ingredients up to the last moment. On the Easter menu are baked ham, mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon, glazed carrots, Jello pineapple-Kool Whip salad and fresh rolls courtesy of Texas Roadhouse. For dessert? Cookies.
Prigge said he and others are requesting the meals be picked up by participants at designated locations. But if that’s not feasible, the meals will be delivered.
Prigge and his wife, Elizabeth, will cook and package the dinners in their home. Some of the volunteers will make the meals in commercial kitchens.
The Prigges and their children are members of Solid Rock Family Church in Sartell. One day before last Thanksgiving, during a church Bible study, Prigge asked, “What are we doing as a family for Jesus?” After some pondering, he decided his family would cook free Thanksgiving Day dinners for people in need. They cooked 85 dinners.
“For this Easter we decided to do the same thing,” said Prigge, with help from the other dozen or so volunteers. For Prigge, the “work” was enjoyable because he has always enjoyed cooking, having earned a culinary diploma from St. Cloud Technical and Comunity College. He also has a degree in automation engineering. Elizabeth Prigge is a chemical-dependency counselor and supervisor at Nystrom & Associates in Sartell.
Just last year, they got married and have three children from previous marriages: James, 8; Jaxson, 6; and Megan, 4.
Prigge finds his cooking meals for people in need so satisfying he is thinking about opening a non-profit agency to continue the service.