10 UARC volunteers in kitchen at youth resource center salt lake city

UARC Volunteers Serve Vegan Dinner to Teens at Youth Resource Center

On Saturday evening, a group of ten UARC volunteers cooked and served a vegan dinner at the Youth Resource Center.  Operated by Volunteers of America, the Youth Resource Center is a safe place for youth ages 15-22 years of age who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. They provide emergency overnight shelter, services and case management. Each year they serve 800+ teens through this facility.

Being able to help out my community by feeding the less fortunate compassionate & healthy food is a great opportunity I’ll never pass up.
– Leigh Harris, volunteer

plate of vegan sloppy joes, pasta salad, and watermelon

It was a win-win for everyone – teens enjoyed a healthy vegan meal, while volunteers learned how to cook new vegan recipes and met other like-minded individuals. We prepared to serve 50 individuals vegan sloppy joe’s, pasta salad, and watermelon.

I think reaching out to people and showing them how delicious food can be without animal products is fantastic. It was my first time at the youth center, which had a profound affect on me. The kids were great and I can’t wait to serve them again soon. 
– Michelle Johnson, volunteer

Staying within our $100 budget while serving fresh vegan dinner proved easy, with cheap fresh produce plentiful at Rancho Market and quality vegan buns and TVP for the sloppy joe’s found at Smith’s Marketplace.  Cooking vegan is not just healthy and delicious – it’s affordable too!

giant pot of vegan sloppy joes made with TVP

I was a little worried the kids wouldn’t care for our vegan Sloppy Joe’s, but judging from all the clean plates, I think they were a great success!
– Shawn Harris, volunteer

The sloppy joe’s recipe came from the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, a vegan classic. See the recipe here and try it yourself! We recommend substituting ketchup for half of the tomato sauce, and adding minced garlic.

volunteers chop veggies in kitchen at youth resource center salt lake city

I have never met a more compassionate and dedicated group of volunteers. They jumped right in to dicing pounds of vegetables and fruit, cooking sloppy joe’s, and scrubbing dishes. As soon as a task was realized, someone was on it. Their hard work paid off as soon as the kids, who were anxiously awaiting to eat what they could smell for the last two hours, started coming back for seconds.
– Amy Meyer, UARC Board Member

UARC will continue to serve vegan dinner at the Youth Resource Center once a month. You can support our work by donating to UARC to cover food costs, or sign up to join the next volunteer group.