Shelton Sunnyside staffers to get a dose of Lasagna Love

Lasagna Love, a nationwide movement connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery, will be delivering food to Sunnyside School staffers Saturday, March 27.

Lasagna Love, a nationwide movement connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery, will be delivering food to Sunnyside School staffers Saturday, March 27.

Lasagna Love / Contributed photo

SHELTON — Some Sunnyside School staffers will be topping off their second COVID-19 vaccine dose with a donated dinner.

Lasagna Love, a nationwide movement that describes itself as connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery, reached out to the school, asking if any staffers would like a meal after receiving their second COVID-19 vaccine dose Saturday.

Thirteen have requested the donated dinner as of early in the week.

“This is our first group event for a school,” said Michelle Eckler, parent of a Sunnyside School first grader and Lasagna Love Fairfield County Regional Leader. She said the meals will be handed out at the school between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

“I am hoping that having a meal already done for them for the weekend will help them with peace of mind,” Eckler said, “knowing that they could potentially have side effects from the second dose of their vaccine.”

Sunnyside School Principal Amy Yost said Eckler contacted her about wanting to offer the option to the teachers, many of whom are getting their second shot during the Shelton Public School/Griffin Hospital clinic.

“The second vaccine shot may have more of a negative impact on people,” Yost said. “(Eckler) thought our staff should be treated to dinner in case that was the case and their commitment throughout the pandemic.”

Yost said her staff was touched by the offer and offered to pay it forward.

“Many staff reached out about wanting to give back if another group needed lasagnas … we'd be the chefs this time. Such a wonderful concept in this time of so much uncertainty,” Yost added.

Eckler said Lasagna Love was started at the beginning of the pandemic, when Rhiannon Menn, founder of Good to Mama, was looking for a way to help moms in her community.

The Lasagna Love website states that Menn and her toddler started making and delivering meals to families in the neighborhood who were struggling, whether that struggle was financial, emotional or simply a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Lasagna Love has since grown into a national movement, with thousands of people cooking and delivering meals to families in their communities, Eckler said.

Nationally, Lasagna Love has some 24,000 volunteers who have delivered more than 45,000 meals.

“Lasagna Love came to Connecticut in September,” Eckler said, “and we are growing every day with currently more than 180 volunteers in Fairfield County alone. We hope to continue doing group events to bring comfort to people who need it.”

Eckler said Lasagna Love is beginning to partner with area organizations. The Fairfield County branch recently participated in a group event in Stratford providing meals to frontline workers.

“In talking with our national collaboration organizer, I came up with the idea to reach out to the principal at Sunnyside knowing that they had their second COVID vaccine clinic coming up,” Eckler said. “The idea was to provide a meal for them for the weekend in the event that any of them have any side effects from the vaccine — or even if they don't, a home-cooked meal can ease some weekend stress.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com