24Meals, the non-profit started by the Fresinski family of Henderson in March to provide chef-prepared meals delivered along with uplifting messages of encouragement, has quickly grown. The organization now serves chef-prepared, home-cooked meals to more than 150 households each week and has delivered more than 6,500 meals to date. Thus far, its efforts have been made possible by donations of food, cash and volunteers to cook and deliver meals, as well as support from Wilder Gourmet and the Fresinskis’ own financial contributions.
Katinka Fresinski, who owns an event staffing company, and her husband Matt, an executive chef on the Las Vegas Strip, started the organization when the pandemic shut down the hospitality industry. Their first family quarantine project was cleaning out their pantry. They were able to prepare 24 meals to give away, and their 11-year-old son wrote inspirational messages on each individually packaged meal’s to-go lid. That action sparked a movement: the families who received that first batch of meals wanted to help other families and asked to donate to the cause. 24Meals was born.
“It was at this moment we knew we could do so much more to help uplift people in our community,” says Katinka. “That we can all do so much more.”
The family project quickly evolved as the Fresinskis began to receive food donations from all over the valley. They created a “Chef’s Challenge,” whereby chefs are nominated to make 24 meals of their choice utilizing all the ingredients in a “mystery box” provided to them containing donated ingredients. They, too, are encouraged to write inspirational messages on each box and post their final dishes on social media. Each chef is also asked to nominate another chef and gift at least one ingredient for the next chef’s mystery box.
So far, 68 chefs have participated, and more help is needed. The public can support 24Meals by:
- If you are a local chef and would like to participate please email Katinka@24Meals.org
- Food donations: Email Katinka Fresinski to receive a drop-off location or to arrange a pick-up time: Katinka@24Meals.org.
- Cash donations: PayPal and Venmo @team24meals using #24Meals in the description
- Delivery drivers: To offer delivery services, email Lisa Delisle: Lisa@24meals.org.
- Food distributors and food brokers interested in getting products in front of chefs while helping a great cause please email: Matt@24Meals.org.
“As time goes on, more and more individuals are being devastated by the impact of the pandemic on our community. Every amount of support helps us serve more of our neighbors by delivering a nutritious, chef-prepared meal along with a some much-needed encouragement,” added Katinka.