PORTLAND — A recipe challenge, sponsored by Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry, will provide an opportunity for all Mainers to put their recipes and cooking knowledge to the test while helping local parish food ministries in the process, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Bishop Robert P. Deeley, left, and Catholic Charities Maine CEO Stephen Letourneau. Photo courtesy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

The “St. Hildegard Food Pantry Recipe Challenge” is under way with a deadline for entries set for Saturday, Aug. 17. The challenge is simple: all are welcome to submit a recipe for any dish or meal that can be prepared and cooked using just one pot. All ingredients should be available at a community food pantry on a regular basis. Those who submit the winning recipes will receive a cash donation to benefit their parish’s food pantry, soup kitchen, or other food-based ministry.

“The recipes will be judged on nutritional value and ease of cooking,” said Bill Wood of Catholic Charities Maine, according to the release. “Participants can submit as many recipes as they like.”

The winning recipes will be announced on Sept. 17, which is the Feast Day of St. Hildegard, who is known for developing a nutritional philosophy centered on the healing properties of food.

“Having taken a vow of poverty on becoming a nun, she knew how to cook on a budget!” said Wood, according to the release. “That why we named this recipe contest that features food from the shelves of food pantries in her name.”

Last year, more than 70 entries were submitted in the challenge with the winner receiving $1,000 for their parish’s food closet and a prize of $500 going to the second-place winner’s parish food pantry.

To enter, interested parties can send their “One Pot Wonder” recipes to [email protected] (place “Recipe Contest” in the subject line). They can also mail their recipes to: Recipe Contest, Catholic Charities Maine, P.O. Box 10660, Portland, ME 04104. An electronic version of all of the recipes submitted will be made available for all parish food pantries and soup kitchens to use for those they serve.

The mission of Parish Social Ministry is to provide leadership, guidance, Catholic social teaching education, and training to empower parishioners to compassionately serve people of all faiths living in their communities. From Kittery to Madawaska, the size and scope of the program continues to grow one successful initiative at a time through youth camps, case managers at soup kitchens, community fairs promoting strong family life, an educational series for seniors, and hundreds of other initiatives. For more information about Parish Social Ministry or the contest, call 523-1161 or visit ccmaine.org/parish-social-ministry.

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