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Volunteer Chefs Deliver 'Lasagna Love' To Families In Need

DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- An army of volunteer chefs are cooking up hearty meals for families in need across the nation. Hundreds are on Long Island.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday, it's kindness served up in the form of lasagna!

It begins with pasta and copious amounts of sauce. Add veggies and gobs of ricotta, but there's also a secret sauce layered into these lasagnas.

"I think the secret is love, just the being able to help somebody," said Lauren Chizner, Lasagna Love's Long Island coordinator.

The lasagnas are baked around the country and on Long Island to feed families and souls.

With three kids and three jobs, Chizner finds time to make and donate one lasagna a week.

"One lasagna at a time to one family at a time is making a huge difference I hope," Chizner said. "Lasagna makes me smile."

So do the desserts she packed in and delivered to a family in need, on this day, to a working mom juggling children and COVID in the house.

"To have somebody come to your house, deliver a fresh, homecooked, nice, warm meal, that really means a lot to me," the recipient said over the phone.

The meals turned into a movement. There are 165 Lasagna Love volunteer chefs on Long Island and 20,000 worldwide. They're all on a mission to spread kindness.

A California woman started the nonprofit in the darkest days of the pandemic shutdown and began offering up the ultimate comfort food.

"Seven women who I didn't know at all private messaged me and said, 'Hey, I'm really embarrassed to ask, but this would be so helpful,' said Rhiannon Menn, founder of Lasagna Love. "It's not just a meal. It's, 'Hey I put love and time into this.'"

"There's just that human touch of one family to another," Chizner said. "The littlest thing can make the biggest difference."

No questions asked of recipients, so there's no stigma. The donated meals are delivered with an unspoken message.

"To make people feel part of a community and wrapped in one large family," said Rabbi Todd Chizner, Lauren's husband.

The organization's ultimate vision is that the need for emergency food will continue to decline, but acts of kindness like Lasagna Love will be a permanent leftover from the pandemic.

Lasagna Love chefs have made 105,000 meals so far, impacting half a million families. Click here for more information.

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