I feel sort of sad. My official connection with Cooking Matters is coming to an end. With all that I've learned over the past several months, I truly wish that I could get involved long term in teaching and volunteering with the program, but the location in Chicago is too far. That won't keep me from advocating for them though, and I still do aim to get involved with the Northern Illinois Food Bank because of my experience.
Want to know why?
Read Part 1 - the first day of my Cooking Matters Bloggy Boot Camp experience last week
Read Part 2 - my experience with the Cooking Matters Boot Camp here
Read Part 3 - discussing the Cooking Matters class I took back in Chicago
Read Part 4 - interview with the Cooking Matters director on the program in Chicago here
Summer has arrived, and that means hunger is here more than before. The school programs that fed kids breakfast and lunch have ended, and those meals are no longer being provided. More than sixteen percent of the population in Cook County (where Chicago is located) are food insecure, and 35% of those are more than 185% over the poverty threshold. Thirty-seven percent of the people served by the Food Depository are children under 18. How scary is that?
We can all make a difference whether it's donating to our local food banks, helping with the Cooking Matters programs to increase education, or something else entirely. You can take a pledge to help end childhood hunger by 2015, which has tons of information and opportunities to get involved.
And if you're in Chicago, there's a fundraiser for Taste of the Nation on August 10 at Navy Pier. For $95, you can get a ticket to Taste of the Nation Chicago, with a gathering of talented local chefs from Chicago and celebrated mixologists. You will be served all sorts of great bites, in addition to fine wines, local craft beers, and premium spirits. The evening also features live entertainment by DJs, and a silent auction. You can purchase tickets here.
And yes, I do have a winner for that Cooking Matters gift bag. Congrats goes to Lexiquin! She has 48 hours to get back to me with her contact information before I have to choose a new winner. Congrats - and don't forget, there is so much you can do for childhood hunger!
In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with some of the items in the gift bag (the tote bags, calculator, measuring cups, cutting board, etc but not the gift card) as a thank you from ConAgra Foods Foundation. I was also compensated by the ConAgra Foods Foundation for my participation in the Bloggy Boot Camp and the posts I've written. That said, all opinions expressed remain my own.