Friday, January 23, 2009

Share Our Strength: NO KID HUNGRY


Hi friends! As a member of the Foodbuzz community, I have seen many wonderful opportunities present themselves to anyone who has an interest or a passion in the food arena to participate and make a difference. I would be remiss if I did not share this program with you which I am certain you have heard of through newspaper and television advertisements. The program is called Share Our Strength: NO KID HUNGRY. If you have not heard of it, please read the following.

As a mother, I have an enormous soft spot for babies and children. Those babies and children will one day grow up to be the fine adults who will be making decisions which will affect me. As a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), I am all too well aware of how maternal-child health issues can affect babies growth and development. Then there are those precious little babies and infants who might come into this world under unfortunate circumstances. They too can have some impossible obstacles to overcome. As one person, it can feel overwhelming. I have said before feeling helpless, does not mean being hopeless. There is always an avenue to take in order to find an answer or to help. I am convinced one person is capable of making a difference. One person can be a catalyst in the wheel of change.

The following information is from Operation Frontline; a wonderful program which falls under Share Our Strength. The program helps surround kids who are at risk of hunger with nutritious foods where they live, learn and play.

Operation Frontline helps families with limited resources make healthy meals at home, using a wide variety of foods that are commonly available in stores and from emergency food providers.

All Operation Frontline courses promote making the healthiest food choices possible, even with limited resources.

Instructors teach lifelong cooking skills, practical nutrition information and food budgeting strategies that participants can use right away and take into the future.

Adult and teen participants receive groceries at the end of each class to practice the recipes they’ve learned at home.

Courses include information on available federal, state and local assistance programs.

Operation Frontline classes are popular with afterschool, summer food, Head Start and WIC programs.

Alas, I am a steadfast keeper of hope and determination. The pictures and text below come from the Share Our Strength website.
Share Our Strength® is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. Working with the culinary industry to create engaging, pioneering programs like Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation®, Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale®, Share Our Strength’s A Tasteful Pursuit®, Share Our Strength’s Great American Dine Out™, and Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline®.

Why We Do It

We have all experienced hunger at one time or another: We’ve all craved a midnight snack, wanted something salty or needed some chocolate. But there’s a big difference between trying to satisfy a brief craving or stomach growl and wondering when or from where your next meal will come.

More than 12.6 million—one in six—children in America are at risk of hunger. These children will endure lifelong consequences as a result of having limited access to nutritious foods. In fact, they’re more likely to suffer poorer health, fatigue, hospitalizations, behavioral difficulties and impaired performance at school.

And hunger doesn’t discriminate. It can affect any child—even those you’d least expect. Most people don't realize that one in six children are at risk of hunger. Not one in six children worldwide; one in six American children.

How can you help?

Sometimes, all it takes is the act of lifting this veil of invisibility from hunger in order to motivate people to really take a stance and start to make a difference. That's why we're asking you, the bloggers and social media users of the world, to add your voice to this issue. By speaking as one on an issue of this much importance, we can mobilize a community much larger than by any other method.
Some ideas to help Share Our Strength:
1) Hold a Food Drive.
2) Find a local food bank in your area here. Also find the most nutritious foods needed!
3) Volunteer at a Food Bank/Soup Kitchen.
4) Hold a Bake Sale with proceeds going to Share our Strength.
5) Blog about Operation No Kid Hungry to bring awareness to this worthy cause!
6) Make a $35 donation and feed a child 3 meals a day for more than a month!
7) From now until March 1, 2009, donate by text: Text "SHARE" to 20222 on your mobile device to donate $5. AT&T will match all text donations up to $100,000. Find out more here.



There have been many places I have traveled in the world. What I know, is we are all the same. While our upbringing and beliefs might vary, our basic need for food, shelter, love and warmth is fundamental. In every country you can find beauty and elegance, as well as back alleys with dark secrets which would be better kept that way. I have looked into the faces of children who are hungry. Mothers and fathers who would steal simply to provide for their loved ones. I have seen the faces of poor mothers who want to feed their babies and protect them, just as any other mother would.

When I was in Egypt recently, there were so many children who come up to me to beg for money, some as young as one and two years old. One little guy in particular tried to take my wallet out of my purse and blast it, I was mad, but I understand why. It absolutely breaks my heart to see this. My little guy kept telling them "Please don't do that!! That's naughty!" So we went into a small market and bought a great big bag of oranges and I let my son hand them out to the massive group of children who began to gather around us in the souq. The smiles one orange brought to their faces is almost unimaginable. They held onto them as if they were a prize. I know an orange is not much, but nutritionally Vitamin C helps. I would rather see children eat a piece of fruit than hand them a quarter and not know what it would be used for. I wished I had more to offer, but it was what I could do.

Right here in America a hunger problem still exists. I know at the end of each day, I can provide my little guy with what he needs. Knowledge is power and Share Our Strength is providing a service in many ways to help this problem. One person can make a difference. The children are our future and deserve a chance!

Whatever you do, do it from your heart!

Best!

(Pictures courtesy Share Our Strength: NO KID HUNGRY website 2009)

1 comment:

Eric Herboso (Share Our Strength) said...

Hi, this is Eric, the webmaster over at Share Our Strength. Your blog entry has been added to the list of bloggers who are helping us get the word out for Operation No Kid Hungry!

Given the blog that you run, I thought you might also be interested about one of our platforms: the Great American Bake Sale. Did you know that we, along with Duff Goldman from the Food Network, created the world's largest cupcake for last year's Great American Bake Sale?

Anyway, thanks for your help, and keep up the great blogging!