Shari Friedel | Johnson Publications
Kelly Crymble (left) of local business Lazy K Eggs and Aryn Seiler, Hatch’s employee, assist customer Lonnie Nolt in putting a take-home meal together at Hatch’s Frozen Meal Night. Crymble provided the eggs for one of the meals.
Hatch’s and registered dietician team up for fast and easy meal solutions
by Shari Friedel
Hatch’s Super Foods, along with Perkins County Health Services’ Shana Kraus has taken the guesswork and time out of creating healthy family meals, with Hatch’s Frozen Meal Night, held once a month on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m.
Customers buy four meals, and gather the already-prepared ingredients at the store, assembly line style.
The idea came about partly because of the increasing popularity of convenient boxed meals that are being delivered to people’s doorsteps.
Store owner Barb Hatch had heard of a Lincoln grocery store who was doing a similar meal project, and began discussing the idea with employee Val Hochstein. By chance, Kraus, a registered dietician and licensed medical nutrition therapist happened to be in the store at the time of the conversation, and the three shared ideas for making it a local project.
The recipes for meal night are chosen by Kraus, tweaked a bit to make them healthier, and tried out on her family before being presented at the store.
Each customer is greeted by Kraus and briefed about the meals they are going to prepare, and receive a printed recipe card that they can take home.
Most of the meals are freezer-to-slow cooker meals that can be taken out of the freezer in the morning, put in the slow cooker as is, and be done by evening.
The prep work starts either the evening before or the morning of meal night, with Hatch’s staff even doing some of the cooking, in the case of rice or scrambled eggs.
All employees stay and assist customers as they go through the line, taking about 15 minutes.
“It’s awesome,” said Barb Hatch, “The goal is for working parents to get in and get out.”
The fifth meal night event on April 19 repeated some of the favorites from the previous four—breakfast sandwiches, szechuan steak stir fry, cilantro lime chicken and slow cooker chicken fajitas.
“It’s just a fun night, I love doing it,” said Kraus. “We seem to get more people each time.”
Those interested in participating are asked to sign up by the Monday before meal night by talking to any cashier.