A grass-roots program to add an important missing ingredient in the effort to provide food to families in need is expanding into central Ohio.

A grass-roots program to add an important missing ingredient in the effort to provide food to families in need is expanding into central Ohio.

The Commissary will become a new drop-off location for Recycle Pots and Pans, created in Kent by cheesemaker Abbe Turner of Lucky Penny Creamery.

In its building at 1400 Dublin Road in Marble Cliff, the Commissary provides commercial kitchen, production and event space to food-oriented businesses, professional chefs and home cooks.

Recycle Pots and Pans collects and recycles pots, pans and other kitchen tools and distributes them to families who may not have the equipment they need to prepare and serve the food they receive from food banks and other charitable organizations.

"Food banks do a heroic job feeding people and distributing food to families in need," Turner said, "but if we're not making sure the families have the utensils and equipment they need to prepare that food, we're not going that last mile to help them."

Since it launched in 2012, Recycle Pots and Pans has provided kitchen tools to 130 families in the Kent area, Turner said.

That effort now will expand to assist Columbus-area families.

Commissary owner Kate Djupe said she learned about Turner's program when she toured the Lucky Penny Creamery.

"I just thought it was an awesome idea and something I really wanted to be part of," she said. "It's a great fit for us."

The Commissary will be an ideal drop-off location because the space used by food-truck operators to park their vehicles can be used for drive-through donations, Turner said.

"What could be easier? You don't even have to get out of your car," she said.

Recycle Pots and Pans accepts donations of any kitchen equipment or tool, save for appliances, Turner said.

"Everything from pots and pans to mixing bowls, spatulas, plates, knives, forks and spoons -- you name it," she said.

The organization puts together kits it distributes to families, using financial donations to purchase items needed to complete a set, Turner said.

In Kent, the project works with eight nonprofit organizations that find families in need of kitchen equipment, she said.

Similar arrangements will be sought in Columbus, Turner said, and the project already has partnered with Freedom a la Cart, a central Ohio agency that assists adult survivors of human trafficking.

Donations can be dropped off from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, or by appointment.

To arrange a drop-off time, call 614-591-2079 or email recyclepotsandpants@gmail.com.

"There are a lot of people who have extra equipment or items they just don't use any more that could really be put to good use by families," Turner said.

"It's so important for a family to be able to prepare and enjoy meals together. It's part of what makes a family a family," she said.