Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
It’s tough to reason with my kids when they’re hungry. They can’t focus, and they melt down fast. This is what I was thinking last week when I attended a press briefing by Share Our Strength, the hunger organization that founded the No Kid Hungry campaign. No Kid Hungry, along with Deloitte, just released a study with some alarming facts about our country’s school breakfast program. Did you know that 21 million low-income children around the country eat a free (or reduced-price) lunch–but only about 11 million of those same kids eat school breakfast? And yet they come to their classroom each morning famished, and because of that, they may also be exhausted, irritable, anxious, and easily distracted. Makes you really feel for the students themselves, not to mention the teachers whose jobs are that much harder in those circumstances. Which leads me to another disturbing stat: More than 60 percent of K-8 public school teachers said they had children in their classrooms who regularly came to school hungry because there wasn’t enough to eat at home.
No Kid Hungry has among its supporters the actor Jeff Bridges, who has been fighting to end hunger for 30 years, in large part through his own organization, End Hunger Network. At last week’s event he posed this question: “We have to look into our own souls. What are we willing to do that’s not just a gesture that’ll scratch the guilt itch?”
Here’s one answer. The No Kid Hungry campaign has determined that lots more eligible kids can get school breakfast if the meal is offered in even slightly creative ways, like in the classroom itself instead of a cafeteria. (This reduces the shame some children feel when they have to leave the room to go get their food.) So, with funding from Deloitte, No Kid Hungry has created a crowdsourced online map that outlines how schools around the country serve breakfast. The more complete the map, the more ideas are shared, and the more likely it is that schools will find ways to give kids the meals they so desperately need.
And this is where you can come in. This week–in honor of National School Breakfast Week–you can call a school (or two or three), ask up to three simple questions about school breakfast, and report the findings directly into the map. I called the elementary school my older daughter will be attending next year, which I learned does not serve school breakfast. (Only about 13 percent of schools don’t, according to No Kid Hungry.) Now that’s reflected on the map. You’ll be walked through the process at NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast. It won’t take long–but it will make a big difference. The goal is to have info about 10,000 schools by March 31. Will you make a call today?
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
We’ve all seen the heartbreaking images of children in third world countries who are barely surviving due to a lack of food. We all know that this tragic reality exists, but did you know that there are 16 million children living here in America who are battling hunger?
We at Parents take this issue very seriously. We recently ran a report on what hunger looks like in America and interviewed a mom who experienced it firsthand.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill is teaming up with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to bring 1 million meals to children in need. They invited us and other bloggers to write about their favorite Italian recipe and for every post they will donate $50 to No Kid Hungry, which will provide up to 500 meals for children in need.
Here’s what you can do to help.
Throughout the entire month of September, Macaroni Grill diners can donate $2 to No Kid Hungry and receive $5 off their next visit. A $2 donation could provide up to 20 meals.
Every time a fan shares a photo from the Mac Grill Facebook Gallery, Macaroni Grill will help No Kid Hungry provide a child with a meal.
Tweet or Instagram a photo of your Macaroni Grill experience with the tag #macgrillgive and Macaroni Grill will provide a child with a meal.
Here’s one of our favorite Italian dishes, the mega-simple Crockpot Lasagna:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 26 ounce jar pasta sauce
- ¾ cup water
- 1 15 ounce carton light ricotta cheese
- 6 lasagna noodles
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6oz.)
1. Coat a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In a large microwave-safe bowl stir together pasta sauce and water. Cover bowl with waxed paper and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together ricotta cheese and carrot; set aside.
2. Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of prepared slow cooker. Break half of the noodles to fit the bottom of the slow cooker and arrange over the sauce in the slow cooker. Spoon mounds of half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the layers. Top with remaining noodles, breaking to fit, remaining ricotta mixture, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon remaining sauce over and top with remaining mozzarella.
3. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 3 hours (noodles should be tender). Remove crockpot from liner and let stand covered for 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Stovetop Method: Prepare as above, except increase noodles to 8 and layer ingredients in a large deep skillet. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.
Categories: Food, GoodyBlog, Solutions | Tags: childhood hunger, childhood poverty, hunger, lasagna, Macaroni Grill, No Kid Hungry, poverty, recipe, recipes
Monday, June 11th, 2012
There are about 16 million children in the U.S. who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And while many of these kids can count on a free or reduced-price meal during the school year through the National School Lunch Program, the summer can be an extra challenging time for families in need of food assistance. That’s why Feeding America, Juicy Juice, and Samantha Harris have teamed up to take part in the Fruit For All Project, which aims to provide up to 35 million pieces of fruit to hungry children and families this summer.
Want to get in on the cause? If you regularly buy juice for your family, consider picking Juicy Juice—from now until August 31, the company will provide one piece of fruit to Feeding America’s National Produce Program with each purchase. If, like me, you’re not a big juice-drinking family, you can also help out by playing weekly challenges on Juicy Juice’s website, or by using Juicy Juice to try out some juiced up recipes, like these on Parents.com. It’s a yummy way to support a good cause no matter how you look at it—and I’ll drink to that!