NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The pandemic has many families struggling right now, facing food insecurity on top of distance learning and working remotely.

Now, thousands of mamas and their families are spreading love and kindness through a simple dish of lasagna.

"Somebody that goes out of their way to make a home-cooked meal and bring it to somebody for no reason other than they care means so much."

Penney Rudicil is the "Lasagna Love" Regional Leader of Lasagna Mamas and Papas of Tennessee and Kentucky. She's in charge of making lasagnas for people in need.

"It could be a need of financial means, could be somebody who's been affected by COVID physically, financially, it could be somebody who's just home alone and they just need someone to give them some compassion," Rudicil said.

She says what started with one mom in California in May has now grown to 5,000 "Lasagna Mamas," who are now serving 10,000 meals all over the country.

Penney says every pin on this map of Tennessee and Kentucky - represents a family in need.

Lasagna Love Tennessee map

"Most of them will say things like 'you don't know what this means' — some of them have cried just because it means so much to them to have someone, not just bring food, but that cares enough to bring food," Rudicil said.

Penney and her "Lasagna Love" team — husband Kevin and granddaughter Emma — cook up multiple pans of lasagna and make several trips to families each month.

Right now the need is so great, Penney says they need more volunteers.

"That's why I'm reaching out and asking for other people in those areas to join us, join us in this mission," she said.

Penney says they've made it easy for you to get involved. You can request a meal, donate to help other "Lasagna Mamas" be able to cook and deliver, or you can volunteer yourself and become a "Lasagna Mama" or "Papa."

For more information on how you can help "Lasagna Love" click here. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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