Empty to Full (E2F) Meal Program

A cost-effective way to provide meals for your neighbors experiencing homelessness

Before joining the E2F Meal Program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Brooke Graham at bgraham@stjohnsgreenbay.org.

Individuals, religious groups and other organizations are invited to join our Empty to Full (E2F) Meal Program to provide nutritious meals to those experiencing homelessness or housing instability in our community. Through your culinary support, you will be helping St. John’s Ministries meet the challenge of providing dinners to guests utilizing shelters. Each dinner serves between 40-100 people, so you’ll be making a much-needed, satisfying difference in the lives of hungry and homeless individuals.


WHO: The Empty 2 Full Meal Program is designed to accommodate individual(s) or groups of any size interested in meeting a real need of dinners for shelter guests at St. John’s Ministries. This can be a family or friends; church, civic or social group; or business with a heart to serve.

WHAT: E2F volunteers will prepare entrees for 40-100 individuals. The entrees MUST be prepared in oven-safe containers, ideally in 21×13 or 13×9 aluminum foil trays with covers. The entrees would then be frozen, either at the home/facility of the volunteer(s) or dropped off at St. John’s Ministries Men’s or Women’s Shelter. The entrees would then be served in the evenings when there is not a meal being made/delivered.

WHEN: E2F volunteers can cook and freeze entrees whenever they wish. The meals would be stored in a freezer and used in the evenings when a meal is not made/delivered. *KEEP STORAGE IN MIND WHEN COOKING & FREEZING ENTREES*


Turkey Chili


  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • (2) 8-oz. cans of pinto beans drained
  • (1) 8-oz. can diced tomatoes with green peppers
  • (1) 26-oz. jar 6-cheese tomato sauce 1 large onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. of salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper


  1. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook macaroni al dente, which means 2 minutes less than package cooking instructions. Immediately rinse and drain cooked pasta in cold water and put aside.
  2. In a frying pan, brown the turkey over high heat with enough olive oil to coat the pan. Keep crumbling the turkey until all the redness is gone. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. In a frying pan with a little more olive oil sauté the onions and peppers until golden; add garlic until golden. Remove and place in the same bowl with the turkey.
  4. In a large pot stir in the beans, diced tomatoes, six-cheese tomato sauce, plus one jar of water from the tomato sauce jar. Add sautéed vegetables and turkey. Bring to a boil. Add chili powder and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 2 tbsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. of pepper. Add the cooked pasta to the mixture and transfer to the aluminum baking pan.
  5. See cooling and freezing directions.

Ziti A La Bolognese


  • (2) 26-oz. jars six-cheese tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. ziti macaroni
  • 1 large onion diced small
  • 2 celery stalks diced small
  • 4 tbsp. dry basil
  • 1 large carrot diced small
  • (3) 1/2 lbs. ground chuck beef
  • 4 tbsp. fresh parsley diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced fine
  • 13 oz. water (1/2 26 oz. jar)
  • 2 tbsp. of salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Brown and crumble the meat in a hot frying pan coated with olive oil until redness is gone. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  2. In a hot frying pan with 1/4” of oil, sauté the onions, carrots, garlic and celery until golden; add to the bowl of meat.
  3. In a large pot, add the cooked and uncooked ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook al dente or 2 minutes less than package instructions.
  5. Combine the pasta and Bolognese sauce after adding salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to the aluminum baking pan.
  7. See cooling and freezing directions.

Baked Chicken


  • 6 lbs. of mixed chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, legs, etc)
  • 1 large onion diced small
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper fresh
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Clean and rinse the chicken and then dry each piece with paper towels. Keep the skin on for added flavor and moist chicken. Rub each dry piece of chicken with the spice mixture.
  4. Place a piece of parchment paper on your roasting pan and place the chicken and the onions on it, then drizzle the olive oil sparingly on top of the chicken and the onions.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly. Transfer chicken and onions into the casserole tin.
  6. See cooling and freezing directions.


To get started, or for more information, please email Volunteer Coordinator Brooke Graham at bgraham@stjohnsgreenbay.org. She can also help arrange pick-ups for E2F donations. Thank you!

Cooling and Freezing Directions

Food-borne bacteria love food at room temperature. Therefore, it is crucial to expedite hot-to-cold temperature transfers. When transferring cooked contents to the aluminum pan, leave 1/2” from the edge of the pan for expansion during freezing.

For cooling: place the uncovered aluminum pan with hot contents into a larger pan containing half ice, half cold water and two tablespoons of salt. As soon as the contents are no longer hot, cover the pan with the lid and seal all around. Label and date the lid. Place in the freezer.

WHERE: E2F volunteers would have to use the kitchens at their home(s) or facilities to prepare the entrees. Once the entrée is finished the group could freeze the entrees overnight or until needed. If necessary, the E2F volunteers have the option of delivering the frozen meals to St. John’s Ministries to freeze on-site until needed.

HOW: Depending on the group, if there are several individuals or households participating, they could all split the meal evenly and prepare the entrees in their home to freeze and deliver later.

For example: A social justice group would commit to preparing two E2F meals each month. The group, consisting of six members (households), would ONLY be responsible for preparing their share of the entrees. If the group is preparing six entrée dishes, then subsequently each household would be responsible for one pan of the group’s selected entrée. The E2F meals would then be frozen for a later date and delivered to St. John’s Ministries or delivered to St. John’s Ministries to be frozen for a later date.

WHY: This meal team method alleviates the cost of one person/household providing and cooking an entire meal, while also providing a service opportunity for families, children, and individuals unable to come in person to volunteer at St. John’s Ministries. Not to mention this is going to meet a very real need for guests in shelter at St. John’s Ministries by knowing they will have a warm meal each night.

ENTRÉE EXAMPLES: Lasagnas, casseroles, chicken dishes, pasta/noodle dishes, and anything that can be frozen and reheated at a later date. Whatever the E2F volunteers decide.

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