Guest Post: Support the Food Literacy Project in Brackets for Good fundraiser

Blogger’s Note: The Food Literacy Project is a non-profit educational agency that brings “urban communities in Louisville back to the roots of their food” through hands-on programming at Oxmoor Farm. My buddy Adam Price is the treasurer and president-elect of the Food Literacy Project’s board of directors. Adam’s a huge advocate of the Food Literacy Project, and he wants to let Ashlee Eats readers know about the project’s participation in a local fundraising competition. Now, let me step back and let Adam take the mic.

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I’ll never forget that moment. The Food Literacy Project had just blown past its goal of meeting a $5,000 challenge grant from Kosair Charities after a raucous 20-minute reverse auction during our major fundraising event last September, the Field-to-Fork Dinner.

In retrospect, it wasn’t surprising. We’d had the Mayor speak, shown an incredibly impactful short video of our work with area children, and had a young man who’d participated the last two years say a few words about his experience to a packed room of 150 generous foodies. Then, as I struggled to keep up with calling out the flood of bid cards during the auction, Malcolm ran all around the room pointing out other cards I hadn’t noticed and earnestly thanking these generous donors for their support. When we learned that we’d raised more than $20,000, I made a beeline straight to him and his mother to say that he should be very proud of the role he played ensuring that his experience will be available to thousands of kids next year and into the future.

The Food Literacy Project does great work improving the lives of kids in our city by teaching them about fresh food, how to cook and eat it, and the benefits of getting your hands dirty growing it.

As you may have heard in a recent WFPL news story, the pilot year of the Farm to Family initiative at Hazelwood and Wellington Elementary Schools (made possible through a partnership with KentuckyOne Health, the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health) is showing promising results. Our intervention nearly doubled the number of kids who reported eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, from 23 percent to 41 percent. We also increased the number of kids who have eaten a vegetable they grew themselves from 59 percent to 91 percent and who know a healthy recipe from 63 percent to 93 percent. These are staggeringly successful numbers that are undoubtedly changing the lives of children and their families in our great city. More importantly, we’re empowering a new generation of kids, like Malcolm, by giving them a skill set that goes far beyond growing vegetables and cooking them.

Brackets for Good is a fun new fundraising competition in its first year in Louisville. It started when a group of people in Indianapolis realized they knew only a few non-profits to which they could donate. They decided to play on their city’s love of basketball and created a unique way for deserving programs to “compete” to raise funds, while also making it easy to learn about organizations doing good work in the area.

(Donors visit the Louisville Brackets for Good page, select the organization they want to support, and enter a points/dollar value for a donation. The winning organization receives an extra $10,000.)

The Food Literacy Project is honored to have been selected to participate in this year’s event. Even though we’re a lot smaller than some of the other organizations taking part, we’re confident that the more people hear about us, the more they want to support what we do.

So we’re planning to win the whole thing.

As a sign of our confidence, the Board of Directors has committed to dropping a $1,000 money bomb on the first day of round three of the tournament, which is this Saturday, March 14. But we need your help more than ever to make sure we win the second round. Please consider going to the Brackets for Good website to learn more about us and the other fine organizations taking part. Also please take a moment to “like” us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter and Instagram so you can know about all the ways we’re inspiring a new generation to build healthy relationships with food, farming, and the land.

As for that moment I’ll never forget, it was the look of pride and achievement on Malcolm’s face when he realized what he’d helped accomplish. We at the Food Literacy Project are fond of saying that while we grow vegetables on the farm, it’s thoughtful, intelligent, caring, (and, yes) healthy kids like Malcolm that are the real fruits of our labor.

Bits and Pieces: Barbecue, beer and other Louisville food news, 12.12.14

Events

  • BBC Taproom at 636 E. Main St. will offer $1 pints in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy for the charity Toys for Tots. I can dig it. (Insider Louisville)

News

  • In the corporate world, this would be called “synergy.” In my world, it’s a plain good idea. Great Flood Brewing Company on Bardstown Road has teamed with Grind Burger Kitchen on the brewery’s 100th batch. The beer, called G&G Blowin’ Smoke, will compliment the food truck/restaurant’s B&B, a heavenly burger of brie, bacon and habenero jam. I’m old enough to be secure in my dislike of most beers. However, I’m willing to give this one a try with my next B&B. (Insider Louisville)
  • There might be a plant coming to the West End that will convert food waste to methane gas. This plant will be a part of the West Louisville Food Hub, “a 25-acre food distribution center being developed at 30th and Market streets.” (Business First of Louisville)

Openings

  • Feast BBQ, a restaurant located in New Albany, will open a Louisville location on East Market Street next Thursday, Dec. 18. This doesn’t help in my quest for reasons to visit southern Indiana. I’m a little weary of this communal dining concept, though (check out this slideshow). Everyone doesn’t need to see exactly how messy I am when I eat, especially barbecue. (Business First of Louisville)

Books, brews, barbecue and ham: a rundown of upcoming foodie events

This ham will be served up tonight at Corbett's. What Roscoe would give for a hunk of that. (via Facebook)
This ham will be served up tonight at Corbett’s. What Roscoe would give for a hunk of that. (via Facebook)

There’s a dog at my heels convinced that he needs a potty break, an empty suitcase that I need to fill in the next 24 hours and a boatload of news and information that I want to share.

You could say I’m in a bit of a tizzy.

This is going to be a down-and-dirty post. There’s so much happening in Louisville and in my own life that I have to do some USA Today-style bullets to give you a rundown of all the fabulous food events happening in town and a couple of updates from Ashlee Eats HQ.

So take a deep breath, and pray that my dog, Roscoe, can hold his composure until I finish this post.

  • I submitted the first chunk of my manuscript to my publisher, History Press, at the end of last week. Granted, it’s still pretty scrappy, and I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I was super excited to hit my first book milestone. I’l celebrate with a trip to Baltimore this Labor Day weekend with the Mister during which I will gorge myself on crab and Italian food.

 

  • OK, strike the gorge part of that last bullet. After getting some not-so-great results on a health screening, I’ve been cutting back on the cheeses and red meats, aka, everything that makes life worth living. Maybe it was diner research for the book that knocked my numbers a bit out of whack, but I’ve decided to eat healthier at home and (when possible) out and about. Check out my Pinterest board, Healthier Choices, to see what I’ve been cooking. I highly recommend the red curry lentils.

 

An un-glamorous shot of the curry lentils I whipped up.
An un-glamorous shot of the curry lentils I whipped up. They tasted better than they look.

 

Roscoe has fretted himself into a state of severe disappointment, so I’ll keep writing. Open up your calendar in a new tab, because I’m moving on to the food events.

  • Fellow Louisville food writer Steve Coomes has a book out with the same publisher with which I’m signed. To commemorate the release of Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke, six high-profile Kentucky chefs are gathering tonight, Aug. 28, at Corbett’s: An American Place for a dinner inspired by country ham. Cost of the dinner is $95 per person and it includes wine and cocktail pairings with each course and a signed copy of the book (call Corbett’s at 502.327.5058 for reservations and hurry, because space is limited). Can’t swing the price tag? Buy the book and get inspired in your own kitchen.

 

 

Yes, this is a little bit of publishing nepotism, but I gotta support my fellow writers in the struggle to sell and hustle. And, they’re good guys and writers.

OK, Roscoe is officially dejected. He’s looking out of the window and contemplating my downfall. I have time for one more event listing:

 

  • The Home of the Innocents will host their annual Big Ol’ Backyard BBQ next Saturday, Sept. 6. This year’s theme is Luau Style, so I can only imagine the amount of savory, delicious pork that will be served up for a good cause. Chefs who will cook at the fundraising event include Fernando Martinez of Mussel and Burger Bar and Dean Corbett of aforementioned Corbett’s and Equus and Jack’s Lounge. Tickets are $50 (adults), $30 (seniors) and $20 (students 11-18). You can buy tickets by at www.homeoftheinnocents.org/bbq or by calling 502.596.1025.

 

bbq-event-info

 

The dog has officially started yelping, so it’s time to take him out. And pack. And finish this book. But one thing at a time.

It’s cookie time. Have you found your Girl Scout?

I was never a Girl Scout. I blame my brother, who quit Cub Scouts after my mom had bought all the swag. The wasted money sullied any kind of scouting for me.

That absence in my childhood fed my admiration for the Girl Scouts. I’m all for the empowerment of girls — and accessories that display your talents and achievements.

Old-school Girl Scouts. (Flickr Creative Commons)
Old-school Girl Scouts. (Flickr Creative Commons)

Late last year, I became a volunteer for Troop 628 of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, thanks to my friend Christine. Now, I get to see how powerful it is to teach girls they can do anything. I get to watch girls who are eager to learn new things and not ashamed of that hunger for knowledge.

I also have a good line on where to get some Girl Scout cookies.

Sweet, glorious Girl Scout cookies. (Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr Creative Commons)
Sweet, glorious Girl Scout cookies. (Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr Creative Commons)

Buying a box is a lot more than just breaking your New Year’s Resolutions (like you were going to make it past February with those, anyway). We’re raising little entrepreneurs. From Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s website:

The Girl Scout cookie program is much more than a fundraiser. It’s a fun way for girls of all ages to earn the money that fuels their dreams. And it’s a powerful, hands-on leadership and entrepreneurial program where girls learn goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

The Girl Scout cookie program can lead to bigger things for girls in business, in society and in life. Helping girls dream more, have more opportunities and do more than they ever thought possible.

Want to support girls? Just want something to calm that aching sweet tooth? Here’s how you can get your hands on some Girl Scout cookies:

  • You’ll see Girl Scout cookie booths popping up in front of stores around the city Feb. 21 to March 16. A certain awesome troop will be stationed at the Holiday Manor Kroger during the coming weeks. Come say hi and buy a box or two.
  • You can also ask a Girl Scout you know if she’ll take an additional order.
  • There’s a neat Girl Scouts app to lead you to your nearest Girl Scout booth.
  • Remember, cookies are $3.50 a box.
  • On Feb. 26, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana will host the annual Desserts First fundraising event. Chefs from around Louisville will make desserts using Girl Scout cookies. Click here for more information about the event.

 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for an important question: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Last-minute event alert: March of Dimes to celebrate good food to help babies

This is SUPERSONIC last minute, but the March of Dimes will host a foodie event tonight to raise money for the non-profit’s efforts to fund research to find the causes of premature birth and developing strategies to prevent it.

The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction will take place today, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Marriott Louisville Downtown. Here’s a rundown of the event, courtesy of the March of Dimes:

  • Guests sample culinary creations from 25 of Louisville’s finest white tablecloth restaurants followed by an exciting live auction featuring experiential dining packages and unique items. The Lead chef is Josh Moore of Volare Italian Ristorante.
  • Participating restaurants include: August Moon Chinese Bistro, Bistro 1860 Wine Bar, Bourbons Bistro, Buck’s Restaurant and Bar, Corbett’s, Jack Fry’s, Lilly’s Bistro, Napa River Grill, Rivue and Varanese.
  • To reserve your table or seat, contact Kim Ulrich at kulrich@marchofdimes.com or 502-473-6683.
  • Want to help March of Dimes? Make a donation (https://www.marchofdimes.com/kentucky/support_giving.html) or call March of Dimes Ohio Valley Division at (800) 255-5857 for volunteer opportunities.

Last-minute event alert: Taste of South Louisville at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Aug. 24

Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs, the location of Taste of South Louisville. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Blogger’s note: This is a guest post from reader Adam Price. Thanks, Adam!)

 

I spent last Saturday morning at the Beechmont open air (farmer’s) market talking about the 4th annual Taste of South Louisville to benefit South Louisville Community Ministries (SLCM). I spoke with a woman there who lamented that so many people have a negative perception of South Louisville, often formed without having spent much time here.

I suspect anyone who lives in South Louisville has encountered that at some point, and to be sure there are real poverty and crime issues. SLCM serves approximately 22,000 residents in zip codes 40214, 40215, 40208 and 40209, more than a quarter of those 22,000 live below the poverty line. We operate multiple Meals on Wheels routes, a food pantry, and offer direct assistance with utility, rent and medicine assistance. We also offer counseling through a partnership with Campbellsville University.  SLCM is working on the front lines to help those most in need and is making a real difference in people’s lives.

As I responded to the woman I spoke with on Saturday, the best way to combat that negative perception is to showcase the great things happening in our area. With a strong history of ethnic diversity, it is no surprise that many of the city’s best international restaurants reside in South Louisville.

This year, the Taste of South Louisville is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24 at Churchill Downs Millionaire’s row from 6-8 p.m., tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for kids 5-11. There will be a silent auction that will include items like a football signed by AJ Green and an autographed Jennifer Lawrence poster. All proceeds go to benefit South Louisville Community Ministries.

Come have a great time, eat some wonderful food, and learn a little more about a great part of town, all for a good cause. You can find out more about our programs here or the taste of South Louisville here.

Participating Restaurants

Cardinal Hall of Fame Café                             PRP Pizza

DaLats Gateaux & Cafe                                 Rubbies

Flavours Catering                                         Seven Up/Snapple

Jimbos                                                       Shack in The Back

Kalisimbi                                                     Sunergos

Levy Restaurants at Churchill                          Terri Ann’s

Little Jerusalem                                            Tuscany

Main Street Deli                                            Vietnam Kitchen

Golden Grain Bakery                                      Khalil’s

Adam Price is a Louisville native, accountant at the University of Louisville, volunteer, and serves on the board of directors for South Louisville Community Ministries. He enjoys sports (especially UofL), the arts, craft beer and Kentucky bourbon…not in that order.

Give $1 at Heine Brothers’ Coffee to help the Center for Women and Families

If you have a spare dollar, it could go a long way for a family this holiday season.

The Heine Brothers’ Coffee location at 805 Blankenbaker Pkwy. will give a free cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to all guests who donate at least $1 to Care in a Cup on Thursday, Nov. 29. The donations will go toward buying holiday dinners at the Center for Women and Families.

Visit the Center for Women and Families’ website for more information about the non-profit organization.

 

Care in a Cup

Where: Heine Brothers’ Coffee, 805 Blankenbaker Pkwy., Louisville

When: Thursday, Nov. 29

Cost: At least $1 donation

Late notice: Drink up to help Hurricane Sandy victims

A group of Louisville restaurants and bars will serve up cocktails this week to benefit victim of Hurricane Sandy.

Photo courtesy Farmers & Fishers via Flickr.

A line-up of establishments will serve their version of the Hurricane cocktail during the Hurricanes for the Hurricane fundraiser. Proceeds from the drinks will go toward service industry workers in New York City who were impacted by last week’s hurricane.

Hurricanes for the Hurricane fundraiser begins tonight, Nov. 6, at Decca. Here is the full roster of participants:

 

Visit Hurricanes for the Hurricane’s Facebook page for more information.

We are in the midst of Choctoberfest, so it’s time to celebrate

Photo courtesy of EuroMagic via Flickr.

Some of the best things happen in October. 

There’s Halloween, my birthday *cough cough* and a gaggle of fall festivals, including the Just Creations Choctoberfest.

Just Creations is a not-for-profit, fair-trade store that sells products from farmers and artisans, according to the organization’s website. The sale of the products helps to provide a fair wage for the artisans and enables them to pay for food, education, health care and housing.

Choctoberfest began Monday and runs through Saturday, Oct. 27. Here is some info about the festivities:

Customers can sample chocolate and enter a raffle to win the Chocolate Sampler Gift Park worth $100. Proceeds from the raffle and 15% of all chocolate sales during Choctoberfest will be donated to Women for Women International 

As part of Choctoberfest, the annual Chocolate Bake Off will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 6-8 p.m. … Judges for the Bake Off include Fred Moore, owner of Coco’s Chocolate Café, Jessica Haskell, owner of Sweet Surrender, and the LouisvilleHotbytes.com Dining Duo Mary Johnson and Robin Garr.

This event sounds like a sweet way to celebrate the season.

Just Creations Choctoberfest

Where: Just Creations, 2722 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville

When: Now through Saturday, Oct. 27; bake off is 6-8 p.m. Oct. 24

Cost: Free, but you can buy goodies at the store

For more information: Just Creations website