April Recipe of the Month: Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash


¼cup vegetable oil

 2 cups frozen or fresh chopped bell peppers and onions

 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into small cubes

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Sauté bell peppers and onions until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to medium.

4. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Sweet potatoes may begin to stick to the skillet, but continue to stir gently until they cook through.

En español:

Hash de camote


1/4 taza de aceite de verduras

2 tazas de pimiento y cebolla congelada o fresca, picados

2 libras de papas dulces / camote (2 camotes medianos), peladas y cortados en cubos pequeños

1 cucharadita de comino

1 cucharadita de sal

1 cucharadita de hojuelas de chile rojo


1. Caliente el aceite en un sartén grande con fuego medio-alto.

2. Sofríe los pimientos y las cebollas hasta que estén tiernas, algunos 5 minutos.

3. Agregar el resto de los ingredientes y reduzca el fuego a medio fuego.

4. Cocine por 20-25 minutos, revolviéndolo cada 2-3 minutos. El camote se puede pegar al sartén pero con-tinúe revolviéndolo hasta que se cocine todo.

April Agency Spotlight: People’s Pantry

People's Pantry 2

By now you may have heard a lot about Twin Lakes Church and their support of Second Harvest Food Bank. But let us take this chance to recognize People’s Pantry, Twin Lakes’ very own pantry, and one of the oldest agencies at the food bank.  The organization and execution of this pantry set a stellar example for other pantries in the community. Perhaps it’s the rows of perfectly sorted food boxes ready to be put in clients’ bags, or the Spanish-speaking volunteer that greets clients at the door, but People’s Pantry is undoubtedly characterized by a need to feed people fresh, healthy food in a clean environment.

People's Pantry 1

40 volunteers comes in the morning and packs all of the food into individual boxes before 11 on Wednesdays at Twin Lakes Church. The pantry opens at 3:30, when the next group of volunteers is available to help hand out the food and check clients in. The pantry serves up to 135 families per week, which translates to nearly 400 people.

Volunteer Bill Roome has created a menu on an Excel spreadsheet, planning out what the food bags will contain for the  entire year, alternating between different meals, from spaghetti, to chili, to beans and rice, to tuna. His goal is for the families to have variety from week to week. Besides dry goods, clients also choose from an array of fresh produce and bread. You can see an example of the menu here:

People's Pantry Menu

But for all you small or beginning pantries out there, People’s Pantry didn’t always run such a large, successful operation. “This is much more organized than we were years ago where we just operated out of a big closet,” says pantry coordinator Jack Spurlock. It took several years to gain a volunteer network, and to organize the bags with such detail.  “There’s no way we could supply what we do without purchasing from Second Harvest,” he claims. Given that 90% of the food at People’s Pantry is from Second Harvest, the food bank seems to be the answer to the variety and nutrition for which the pantry aspires.

In the beginning, Spurlock was unsure about his involvement with the pantry. Coordinating a pantry is no easy job. But after nearly 18 years, he still shows up to the food bank every Wednesday morning with a team of volunteers, cracking jokes and loading shopping carts. “Once I started, my heart really got into it because of the relationships you make with people and seeing people so grateful that we’re there for them.”

People’s Pantry remains one of Santa Cruz County’s community gems.


April Nutrition Notes: Healthy Snacking


Who doesn’t love a good snack? Snacks are a great way to keep energized, especially when on the go. April’s focus is on Healthy Snacking. Here are some pointers for healthy snacking as well as suggestions for 100 Calorie snacks.

¿A quién no le gusta un buen bocadillo? Bocadillos son una manera buenísima para mantenernos con energía, especialmente cuando estamos en el camino o ocupados. El enfoque de Abril es en Bocadillos Saludables. Esta lección nos da unos consejos para elegir bocadillos saludables y proveernos unas sugerencias de bocadillos de 100 Calorías.

Click on the following links to find tip cards for healthy snacking. Feel free to print and hand them out to clients:

Snack Tips for Parents

También en español:

Los refrigerios de MiPlato consejos para los padres