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Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry & GA’s Cooking Matters: Campaigns For Life

One of the more rewarding elements of my job other than eating really amazing food is working with organizations that have powerful messages and aspire to change the world. When I was in Atlanta full time, I volunteered as a chef for the GA Cooking Matters program, one of Share Our Strength’s arms. Through that program, I learned to appreciate the importance of equipping others with the tools and knowledge to live a better and healthier life. It was basic information for me but new and critical information for the participants. Easy recipes like hummus and ratatouille were innovative for most of them. They embraced the idea of cooking with more vegetables, color, less salt, less meat, more balanced meals and how to shop on a budget. They loved hearing testimonials on how skipping a meal from a drive through helped one family lower medical bills and improve physical and mental performance. One woman I remember was very skeptical on being able to buy a week’s worth of meals for a family of four with just $15. I took her (with the class) shopping and showed her how it was possible.

She was inspired. And learned that cooking does matter.

(Happy Cooking Matters students and me after a shopping on a budget spree in Atlanta)

Cooking Matters GA’s mission is to increase the awareness of hunger, food insecurity and obesity in children in Georgia. We provide resources and skills to low-income families to alleviate health and wellness problems associated with poverty. 

Teaching the adults is always fun, but teaching the kids how to cook and navigate in the kitchen is most pivotal. My experience with food is well documented to have started in the kitchen. It wasn’t just a cultural thing. My mother made sure the 5 of us understood what it meant to prepare meals and enjoy good, nutritious food. I’m able to share those experiences with kids and excite them about cooking simple meals for themselves. G-Pan and Cooking Matters forged a relationship to make the programs in GA work. Their  slate is diverse, offering nutrtion-based cooking courses to different demographic groups  and extending the the opportunity to learn how cooking matters and can really change their lives. Participants receive recipes, take-home materials and groceries from each day’s lesson.
(eager young man sautéeing vegetables during a cooking class for kids in Atlanta)
SOS’s No Kid Hungry campaign, also tagged under most of their national programs including Cooking Matters, is the national platform to ignite our communities to share our wealth and knowledge about deficiencies and inequality in how children have access to food. The simple goal is to and bring and end to hunger by 2015. I’m sure  you’re familiar with the campaign.

Both are in need of donations.  Money to continue supporting the vital efforts, individually and collectively. Without corporate sponsorships, community involvement, volunteers and donations, it would be impossible for any of it to work. And while it seems that someone is always asking for money, I’m very passionate about the dire need to see things change in our country and around the world. Hunger is a problem. There should be no tolerance for it. It’s abominable. I know I’m not going to change it overnight or even with this post. My purpose is to share information with you. To inspire you to do something. Anything. Small or big.

Cooking Matters in Georgia needs help. There’s not one specific annual event that benefits them. I’m helping them change that. But in the meantime, initiatives like “GA Gives Day” are crucial to their mission. And today is that day.  Thousands of people across Georgia will raise as much money as possible in a 24-hour period for nonprofits through the website.  Visit www.GAgivesday.org, search and select Cooking Matters the nonprofit of your choice, and make a donation. “Every penny counts when giving back to the nonprofits that make our state and our county a great place to live.” — Cooking Matters GA.

And Share Our Strength nationally is working hard this Christmas season to nudge us into extending a bit more outside of ourselves and help No Kid Hungry.  Donations to No Kid Hungry help Share Our Strength provide food, supplies, and technical assistance to organizations feeding kids via summer meal and breakfast programs. They also teach families how to prevent hunger at home. An $18 donation means 180 breakfasts. Imagine that! That’s half a year of the most important meal of the day. That is life-changing. If you’ve read up on the impact of children not eating breakfast, do so. You’ll be shocked at the highly adverse effect it has on their developing brains.

Your donation to can even be tangible for you. Consider these pretty and well-made Christmas and holiday gift tags. Snatch a few up by sharing a few bucks. That can easily be your way of spreading the word about Cooking Matters and No Kid Hungry!

There is something we can all do. That’s my philosophy. I happen to share by cooking and fundraising. If you’re not into that, donating may be your thing. Consider doing something. Algo. Our children deserve it. I’m not into clichés, but no one said it better than the late Whitney Houston — “Our children are our future.”

Share your strength!

* I was not compensated for this post in any way. All opinions are my own and honest. 

*All donations help end child hunger in the United States and are tax-deductible. Share Our Strength is a non-profit and uses donations to help provide nutritious meals to children. Donate today and provide a hungry child his next meal. Your charitable donation will help end childhood hunger by 2015. 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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0 thoughts on “Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry & GA’s Cooking Matters: Campaigns For Life

  1. I really loved that you shared this. I adore your work with the children. It is always so amazing to work with them and to help out give back every chance you can!

  2. Bren, this is so awesome and I’ve been wanting us to participate and have some ideas especially for the holidays. We shall chat soon. I commend you for your work in the community here in ATL and everywhere you go!!

  3. Jocelyn: Thanks for checking it out. I love working with children, mostly inspired by my sister who’s the “Baby Whisperer”.

    Joi: Thanks a ton. Really appreciate you taking note. There are so many ways to share and help. GPAN does fantastic work and it’s a pleasure supporting their efforts. I really do see the difference in the people.

    The Duo Dishes: Yup! Plus, they keep 100% all the time. Can be funny.

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