"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."  

Franklin Roosevelt
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The Stretch Your Food Budget program will run through 2021. The economic impact of the pandemic is affecting many people in Hull and throughout New England.

Created by Dennis Zaia, the program’s goal is to help Hull citizens stretch their food dollars while still enjoying nutritious meals. Easy to make and delicious recipes are each packaged into a Meal Kit. The Meal Kits contain all the necessary ingredients for the recipe along with simple directions. The prepared dinners provide 4-6 servings—enough to feed a family!


With help and support from The Hull Times, Craig Wolfe, Hull’s Volunteer Emergency Response Coordinator, Chef Brian Houlihan from The Parrot, The Village Market, South Shore Community Action Council, and other concerned citizens, these Stretch Your Food Budget Meal Kits are now available!


According to the August 24, 2020 issue of Barron’s magazine, “20% of Americans with children say they can’t get enough food, up from 17% in early June.” 

The January 1st Boston Globe stated “As many as one in seven people in the state are considered food insecure, according to the Greater Boston Food Bank”.

The statistics demonstrate the challenges which inspired this program. Coupled with the knowledge of Outreach Meal Program packets, this program can help folks stretch their food dollars during this challenging time.



The Outreach Meal Program developed a food formula comprised of pasta or rice, fortified soy protein, vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals. Dennis, Brian, Craig, and friends cooked up these meal packets and explored different ways to enhance and increase the taste and visual appeal of each meal. We believe we have achieved that goal with the following five Meal Kits:

  • Macaroni & Cheese

  • Minestrone Soup

  • Tex Mex Chicken & Rice

  • Rice & Beans

  • Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

We continue to develop other Meal Kits as well.

We packaged each Stretch Your Food Budget Meal Kit in a handled clear plastic bag with clearly described cooking directions and the necessary additional products to enhance the flavor and appeal of the protein enriched meal that will easily serve 4 good portions or 6 side dish portions, helping most families and senior citizens to stretch their food dollars.




Anyone who wishes to add our Meal Kits to their pantry!


There are 5 Meal Kits currently being offered. The following Meal Kits include all the ingredients you will need to make four good size servings.

  • Macaroni & Cheese

  • Minestrone Soup

  • Tex Mex Chicken & Rice

  • Rice & Beans

  • Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

You can prepare these at home in less than 30 minutes, allowing you to stretch your food dollars for the upcoming months.


  1. Aunt Dot's Kitchen at Wellspring @ 814 Nantasket Avenue in Hull - 781 925-3211 x112
    **Call for an appointment to shop at Aunt Dot's
    Kitchen or to arrange a delivery

  2. Ann Scully Senior Center @ 197A Samoset Avenue in Hull - 781 925-1239 x4

  3. Hull Memorial Middle School @ 81 Central Avenue in Hull - Monday & Wednesday (10-11am) on lower level entrance


Thanks for submitting!


"I cooked the Macaroni & Cheese for my family of 4 and the directions were very easy. The finished meal was very good, but the portion size was so large for my family and we had leftovers two times. It might be a good idea to have a list of "helpful hints for leftovers" so that people might know what to do with leftover food for another meal. I made fried Mac & Cheese pattys and they were delicious. I would be happy to share the recipe if necessary."

"Recipe was easy to follow. The minestrone soup was hearty and tasted good. I added a few spices. A bit of oregano and basil. The crackers were a great touch."

"Very easy to follow directions. Step by step instructions were accurate and easy to follow. Probably one of the better macaroni & cheese recipes we have used - the Velveeta cheese was a great add on to the gift meal bag as you cannot go wrong with a creamier cheese sauce. Only two: At step 5 of the recipe once I pulled the pot off the heat source, I put a lid on the pot to help continue the cooking process of the pasta. And at step 12 where it says to "serve immediately;" I actually let the pot rest for 5-minutes to allow a creamier texture instead of the "soupy" texture if served immediately as instructed."

"Easy directions for the Macaroni & Cheese. Very bland and tastes fake. There needs to be some seasoning and less of the vitamin additives.

"Minestrone Soup was easy to follow the directions. The soup was delicious. This meal was seasoned perfectly and tasted delicious.

"Imagine my surprise with the sweet Macaroni & Cheese dinner that I received, bow tied and all . What a way for me and the kids to celebrate dinner together delicious and budget-friendly, the directions were very easy to follow and pretty soon everyone was asking where the prepared dinner was!!!!"

"I was recently given a sample of the Macaroni and Cheese to prepare and evaluate. The packaging is attractive, the
directions are easy to follow and the taste was much better than anticipated. If you or someone you know needs some extra help with your food budget in these difficult times I would encourage you to take advantage of this program. The product tastes good and the price is right (free)."

"This Macaroni & Cheese was good when hot off the stove and then a bit gooey after sitting for a while."

"Hello, I’m the Director at the Norwell Council on Aging. I think this is a fantastic program and wondered if you’d be willing to share the details so that we can explore replicating it in our community. Thank you for all you are doing to support your residents. I look forward to hearing from you.

From Polly Rowe of Hull, MA -- 

"It's a great time during this arctic blast cold spell to try out one of the menu packages from the Stretch Your Food Budget Program. A strong supporter of this Wellspring program initiated by Hull's Dennis Zaia, I recently put my culinary skills to work in making the Minestrone Soup.

This soup package is complete with nutrient-dense, high protein, low sodium ingredients that include pre-printed basic, no-fail, easy to follow directions! Quick and super-easy to make, the final product was deliciously satisfying and appetizing to all senses - eyes, nose, and tongue!

The soup mix packet itself includes a variety of dried vegetables and pinto beans deliciously seasoned with spices. Sprinkling each individual serving [the package generously serves 4 to 5] with grated Parmesan cheese adds the final finishing touch! For those like me who creatively embellish whatever I'm cooking, one can further extend this yummy Minestrone soup by adding supplemental ingredients [not included] such as tofu, more vegetables or dried beans including edamame, and chicken/turkey/hamburg. 

It's increasingly more expensive these days to afford eating even the basic nutritional foods. Please help support the Stretch Your Food Budget program so we can help others in our community by providing their families with healthy, nutritious meals."