Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending a lunch briefing with No Kid Hungry
(NKH) at the Times Center
in NYC. As most of you know, I have been a supporter of Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign since the very beginnings of this blog
. I was honored to be invited to the luncheon by Share Our Strength founder, Billy Shore. Among those in attendance were NKH National Spokesperson and actor, Jeff Bridges, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and dozens of NKH supporters including chefs like Alex Guarneschelli
and Marc Murphy
The purpose of the luncheon was to discuss the recent findings
of a Deloitte study - that a healthy school breakfast can have a dramatic impact on a child's academic, health, and economic futures. It was shared that students who eat school breakfast achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests, attend 1.5 more days of school, and are 20% more likely to graduate high school.
Most of what was discussed seemed common sense - I know that if I don't eat breakfast or if I skip a meal, I get cranky, lose focus, and eventually can't function. My productivity level just plummets without food. So, how are children supposed to do well in school if their family cannot afford nutritious meals?
As a food blogger, it almost seems ironic that I am a supporter of No Kid Hungry. In general, food bloggers are always talking about food and sometimes it even seems over-indulgent or gets to the point of gluttony. For example, what's the purpose of me posting the above photo of what I ate at the luncheon? At first glance, most people would just think I'm trying to show off a fancy lunch I had. But the more I thought about it, it's people like us that can make a change and be the voice for this cause. The lunch that I partook in was quite simple, actually - chicken roulade, poached pear, and an arugla salad. It was delicious, yet healthy and would not be expensive to prepare. It's the type of meal that families in this country should be able to prepare even with limited funds. However, many do not know how or worse, do not have the access to fresh produce - and thus, spend money on pre-packaged, canned and processed foods.
So, it's not so ironic that food bloggers, chefs, foodies, whatever you want to call yourself are big supporters of the campaign to end childhood hunger. We have the platform, the talent, the voice to share with those in need - most of us know which produce to buy seasonally, how to read nutrition labels, and cook well-balanced meals even though our blogs mostly focus on sweets. ;) How can we share that? How can I share that?
When I began writing this post, my intention was to simply recap the luncheon and talk about how I got to be in the same room as Jeff Bridges. But as I started writing, I quickly realized that I can do more than that. All the information and facts shared at the luncheon can be found on the No Kid Hungry website
. If you do not already know about the cause, take a moment to read about it. We can do our part, and take A Place at the Table
- it's a new film produced by Chef Tom Colicchio
documenting Americans living in food deserts, struggling with food insecurity. The film will be available in select theaters, on iTunes, and OnDemand on Friday, March 1st.
A place to start:
Please reach out if you'd like to know how to get involved with the National Food Blogger Bake Sale on May 4th. For the NYC bake sale, email me: lillian at sweetsbysillianah.com. For other locations, email Jessica at Share Our Strength: jbomberg at strength.org.