Freezer Cooking as a Ministry (A Guest Post)

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The following is a guest post from Jackie

As a mom of two grade-school children, a three year-old and an infant, I’ve often asked, “Lord, how can I be a missionary with small children and babies at home?” The answer was a “Cook and Play.” I invited three women to my home and we put on our aprons and got cookin’.

We were providing food for our family in a fun, creative way while our children had a play date. Each mom would take a turn to check on the children or attend to the group if needed. Sauce simmered, pasta cooked al dente, meat browned and pans were assembled as a team effort.

The ample food spread before us gave me an opportunity to thank God for our blessings. The vast amount of food could be shared with others. What would happen if we opened our arms to the poor and extended our hands to the needy?

We would be serving as Jesus did and people would be blessed.

Each time we gathered for a cook and play, we donated a frozen casserole to our local homeless women and children’s shelter. On the serving day, meals made with love were shared with others with smiling faces.

I took my grade-school children to experience missionary work. The day my five year-old-son heard his name called by a homeless friend, my words “Eat your food because there are hungry children,” rang clear. It pierced my heart to repeat this mission opportunity once a month.

Cook and Play is a simple idea to give moms the opportunity to be missionaries. Two to four women gather at a home, bringing their own cooking supplies, for an ambitious play date. Moms prepare freezer-friendly casseroles, convenience chicken, or bread dough. Alternately, this can be done at a church setting providing childcare, using “no-cook” recipes. Contact your missions office and child care to present your idea.

The mission for moms is Proverbs 31 based: providing food for her family while opening her arms to the poor and needy. Each hand-made casserole is waiting in the freezer for a sharing opportunity. Groups can offer assistance to their home church or community organizations, such as local shelters or group homes.

Or simply be available to whomever God places on your heart: a neighbor, teacher, friend, new mom, co-worker, or boss. Food warms the heart.

How can you start a Cook and Play group?

1. Brainstorm family favorites among your group and start with one or two freezer-friendly casseroles.

2. Ask ladies to bring their own ingredients, storage pans, cooler, extra pots if necessary and a light snack for kids and adults.

3. Be available to watch children, cook, stir, wash pots and pans. Simply be a humble servant and open your home to the experience.

4. Most importantly, pray where God could use your food. It could help someone at your church not connected in a Sunday school class, a local shelter or an individual.

You are now a “Mom on a Mission,” serving others with the love of Christ through freezer cooking. No matter what season of life you’re in: a new mom, a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a retired mom, a tired mom; you can help someone in need while you provide for your own family by double bubbling a casserole.

Missionary Tip: Deliver a bag salad and French bread with this easy “no cook” Three Cheese Manicotti.

:: Jackie Brown is the founder of Cook and Play, a non-profit freezer cooking ministry in NC. She blogs at testing her recipes on her family of six and while helping others in need.

What are ways that we can share our frozen bounty with others?

Share your ideas in the comments!

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  1. Please check the link for the three Cheese Manicotti – It wasn’t there when I tried it early this morning.

  2. What a blessing to read this post. I have always wanted to find a way to combine freezer cooking with a ministry. Although I don’t have kids at home anymore, I can see this as a great ministry to young moms as well as helping out those in need in the community. Looks like I have a new blog to add to the ones I follow.

  3. I have been reading your blog for a while, and with baby #3 on the way I am actually going to do a load of freezer meals before he is due.

    Today I am hoping to post my Freezer meal plan and I would love your imput on it. Pop over to
    to check it out with in the next few days.
    Thanks so much!!

  4. This was an excellent post! So inspiring! I have a few friends that I think would love to participate in something like this — I think I’ll have to try making plans for this. Now the question is, what to make? Hmmm…

  5. What a great post! Sharing the gift of a ready-made meal with someone is such a loving act. I remember after the birth of our first child what a wonderful blessing it was whenever someone showed up with dinner for us. I am now much more intentional about “paying it forward” and bringing over food for friends with new babies. Keeping a pan of something stashed in the freezer but earmarked for outreach is great idea.

  6. I’m currently on the volunteer list at my church to bring food for funeral receptions. My freezer cooking plan for this week is to make up spaghetti pies — one for my family to eat, and (at least) one for the freezer for the next call for funeral food.

  7. How neat! We are looking for someone to speak to our MOPS group on this very topic—freezer cooking. I see you are in NC. Are you available for speaking engagements in the Triad area? Thanks!

    1. Let me know where exactly and I would definitely consider. I’m in the Asheville area speaking in surrounding areas to churches, community ctrs, MOPS and private settings.

  8. I currently do something like this! A friend and I coordinate a freezer cooking night every Monday. We plan and test the meals, find out how many of each meal each of the six attendees wants to make, and add a few more to the list for the freezer in the church kitchen for whoever needs them. We shop for all the ingredients and meet the attendees at church with a very (!) organized prep list so all 8 of us can chop, brown meat, and package up everything. We make about 45 meals in 2-2.5 hours each Monday night and each woman takes home 5-10 meals (they pay $7/meal). We do enchilada bakes, meatballs, burritos, soups/stews, and so much more!
    Sadly, we will be stopping in May because both of us are due with our third baby. Hopefully we can resume at some point afterwards! But maybe I’ll do a smaller version at my house during the summer 🙂