FORT LAUDERDALE — A well-known Fort Lauderdale chef is joining a grassroots effort to replenish the stocks of The Pantry of Broward, a charity that delivers food to the elderly struggling on low, fixed income.
The Pantry, located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, just lost 21,000 pounds of food after its industrial-sized freezers and refrigerators stopped working when Hurricane Irma slammed into South Florida last week.
The non-profit had to discard pound after pound of fruits and vegetables and dairy products, and managed to give away its frozen meats to other food-providing charities.
Now, The Pantry’s stocks are so low its latest delivery to 400-plus elderly residents included only four bottles of water, a couple cans of tuna and a handful of string beans, a far cry from its usual 55-pound packages.
“When I heard about this, I just couldn’t do nothing,” said Lenore Nolan-Ryan, the well-known owner and operator of Lenore Nolan-Ryan Catering and Cooking School. “The Pantry usually ships these big boxes of beautiful vegetables and great meats. It’s so sad a lot of it went to waste.”
Nolan-Ryan is responding with what she does best: Throw a party!
Starting at 5 p.m. Friday evening, Nolan-Ryan will be whipping up dinner and all her fans have to do is pay for the booze they’ll drink until 9 p.m.
“I’ll ask people to donate what they can. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go the Pantry of Broward,” she said.
The school is at 3311 North Ocean Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Pantry CEO Maureen Luna said Nolan-Ryan’s effort is one of several in the community since word of the losses spread.
“The power was out for three days,” Luna said. “I estimated the losses at about $12,000. We sure could use every donation we can get.”