Event: Dare to Care’s Bobby Ellis Thanksgiving Eve Vigil, Nov. 26

Take a moment tonight to think about the folks who do without on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year. (Courtesy Satya Murthy, Flickr Creative Commons)
Take a moment tonight to think about the folks who do without on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year. (Courtesy Satya Murthy, Flickr Creative Commons)

I’m thankful that I’ve never gone hungry.

Sure, I’ve chomped at the bit waiting for my next meal. I’ve even been hangry a time or three. Fortunately, there has always been food in my fridge and cabinets.

That’s not the case for many families in our community. In Jefferson County, 17.2% of people are food insecure, according to the non-profit Feeding America. That means that 127,320 people have at some point had inadequate or uncertain access to nutritious food.

Dare to Care, a food bank that serves the Kentuckiana region, has done a lot to address hunger in our community. Tonight, the organization will host a candlelight vigil to honor Bobby Ellis, the nine-year-old boy whose death from malnutrition on Thanksgiving Eve 1969 sparked the Dare to Care movement.

Before you dive headfirst into the Thanksgiving spread tomorrow, take some time to remember a little boy who went hungry in our own city and consider what you can do to stop hunger.

Bobby Ellis Thanksgiving Eve Vigil sponsored by Dare to Care Food Bank

Donate canned goods for queso at local Qdoba Mexican Grill locations

Got some canned goods? Want to help a local food bank? Do you like cheese dip?

Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants in Louisville and southern Indiana will collect canned goods for Dare to Care food bank through Sunday, Nov. 20, according to an email I got from the chain restaurant. In exchange for one canned good, customers will receive a free queso upgrade to any entree. In exchange for three canned goods, the restaurant will give you an order of chips and queso.

This sounds like a win-win situation. And if you don’t make it into a Qdoba by the end of the promotion? Donate to Dare to Care anyway.

Bits and pieces: KFC, Slow Food International and other food news from the web, 4.11.11

New moms aren't eating right, so says the experts. Photo courtesy of flequi via Flickr.
  • New mothers let their health slip after the baby arrives because of lack of exercise and unhealthy eating, according to a study published in Pediatrics journal. It took a group of researchers to tell us that new moms are too busy to eat right and exercise. I’m not a mom, but I will give a “Well, DUH” in sisterly solidarity. (CNN)
  • Please check out these pictures from the World Grits Festival. They made my day. (Best Week Ever)
  • Here’s a list of 50 great food-related accounts to follow on Twitter. One day, I’ll make the list. One day. *shakes fist with determination (The Kitchn)
  • Good news — Slow Food International is considering Louisville as a host city for the group’s international congress, which would be its first such event in the United States. Bad news — the group has postponed making a decision until June. (WFPL News)
  • Yum! Brands, the folks who own KFC, is lobbying the state to allow the disabled, elderly and homeless to use food stamp vouchers at the company’s restaurants. Folks are pissed at this prospect. (WFPL)
  • Oh, snap. Louisville is getting an organic produce/local food/natural grocery delivery service. And the company, Green BEAN, is going to donate to Dare to Care Food Bank. It’s my middle class dream to have something like this. (Business First of Louisville)

Bits and pieces: Wisconsin protest pizza, cafeteria trays and other food news from the web, 2.22.11

Pizza - the official food of protest.
  • Is Madison, Wisconsin the next Cairo, Egypt? Maybe not, but protestors in the Middle East and others from across the world are reaching out to demonstrators in Madison by buying pizza for protesters at the state Capitol. The protesters are about to enter their second week of demonstrating their opposition to the Wisconsin governor’s plan to cut benefits and change collective bargaining rules for most state public employees. (Politico, Reuters)


  • I’m not a fan of  loud chewers, but this is extreme. A man in Latvia was shot to death for eating his popcorn too loudly while watching the movie Black Swan. (The Telegraph)


  • Here’s one from Jenna Johnson, a reporter with whom I interned with at the Washington Post: Colleges are starting to get rid of cafeteria trays in an effort to cut back on the amount of food that co-eds are wasting. (Washington Post)


  • Get to know the folks who deliver your food. They could save your life. (Gawker, WMCTV)


  • In international news, the people of North Korea are starving, but there is serious international concern that aid is not reaching the people who need it most. How should other countries help? Or should they help at all? (Washington Post)

Bits and pieces: Thanksgiving news from the web, 11.24.10

    Gobble gobble, y'all. Photo courtesy of Alan Vernon via Flickr.
  • Each year, one lucky turkey escapes the dinner table, receives a Presidential pardon and lives a pretty cushy life in the process. The Food Network put together a fun slideshow about the process, and the Washington Post profiled the chosen bird, Courage, and his alternate, Carolina, last year.
  • This Thanksgiving, more folks in Louisville (and the rest of the country, from what I’ve read) need help, but donations have fallen flat, according to an article in the Courier-Journal. From the story:

“What I’ve been really amazed by is the number of people who come in and feel somewhat ashamed because they say, ‘I’ve never been in this situation before,’” said George Sanders, executive director of West Louisville Community Ministries. “They’re almost apologetic.”

  • I’ve never had the urge to try the abomination that is turducken (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed with … stuffing), but in case you’re interested, here’s a recipe. Somebody should stuff some Tums in there as well.


  • Some calls to the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line prove that there are such things as stupid questions, according to a piece from Reuters. The story lists some real questions that have been posed to the turkey experts throughout the years, including my favorite: “Is it okay to thaw my turkey in the bathtub while bathing my kids?”


  • Need something to talk about at the Thanksgiving table? The good people of Smithsonian.com have compiled a list of science trivia about common Thanksgiving foods.

Original KFC in Corbin to close, turn into hunger relief kitchen


A view of Sanders Cafe, the original KFC.

It’s a good thing I visited the first KFC in Corbin, Ky., last week.

Yum! Brands, the parent company of the fried-chicken chain, will close the Corbin restaurant, according to Business First of Louisville.

But Yum! plans to turn the Corbin location along with the first KFC franchise in Salt Lake City into “World Hunger Relief Kitchens” that will serve free meals to residents of local shelters, the Business First article said.

Yum! sponsors the World Hunger Relief campaign “to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies,” according to the campaign’s website.

Full disclosure: Today, I will see the campaign firsthand – representatives from Yum!, KFC and the World Hunger Relief campaign will visit Neighborhood House and serve food to our kids and their families.

Hunger Walk benefiting Dare to Care food bank, World Food Programme to take place at Waterfront Park this weekend

With one in seven Americans living in poverty, there is a great need for organizations that can help the impoverished meet basic, immediate needs.

This weekend, Kentuckiana folks will have the chance to support a couple of these agencies.

The 2010 Hunger Walk 2010 will take place Saturday, Sept. 19, at Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville. The event will benefit Dare to Care Food Bank and The World Food Programme, two programs that address hunger on a local and international level.

The 5K run/walk begins at 2:15 p.m. A festival with food and entertainment starts at noon. Registration for the race is closed, but you can still support the agencies by donating online.

I get to see Dare to Care’s work each day at my day-job at Neighborhood House. Five nights each week, my organization hosts Kids’ Café, a Dare to Care program that provides kids with a free, nutritious meal. This summer, we set a record by serving 114 kids in one night, no doubt a result of the recession and the poverty it has caused.

Paula Deen to visit Louisville-area casino, butter supplies expected to dwindle

Paula Deen is the white, Southern grandmother I never had.

Butter is her best friend. She’s saucier than Béarnaise. And that accent – God love her.

Paula Deen will be close by Friday as she celebrates the opening of The Paula Deen Buffet at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, a casino is Elizabeth, Ind., right across the river from Louisville. There is will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. followed by an $80 brunch, according to Horseshoe. I’d scoff at the price, but all proceeds will go to Blessings in a Backpack, a charity that sends kids home on Fridays with a backpack full of food to fight childhood hunger.

Paula Deen’s website has a delicious description of her buffet, which offers such Southern staples as fried chicken, gumbo and grits. I don’t foresee heading to Savannah to try Paula Deen’s delicacies any time soon, so a trip up to Indiana might be my best bet.

The Stats

  • Grand Opening of The Paula Deen Buffet
  • When: 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, 2010
  • Where: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, 11999 Casino Center Drive SE, Elizabeth, Ind.
  • Cost: Brunch after Paula Deen’s ribbon cutting is $80, proceeds benefit Blessings in a Backpack
  • To make reservations: Call Horseshoe at 800.872.4366.

Bits and pieces: The Blind Pig, Guy Fieri and other food news from the web, 8.16.10

Cutest. Pig. Ever. Too bad I like bacon so much.
  • The Blind Pig, a gastropub in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, earned itself a nice mention in the New York Times recently. I haven’t visited the Blind Pig, touted as “Butchertown’s premier swine dining establishment,” but with dishes like vanilla ice cream fritters and pecan-bacon brittle, I’ll have to visit soon.
  • Tyson Foods and singer Neil Young will work together to help relieve hunger along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to an article from the Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek. Tyson will donate 100,000 pounds of chicken products in conjunction with special concerts Young has planned in late September in Mobile, Ala.; Panama City and Pensacola, Fla.; and Biloxi, Miss. Young and Tyson are also asking concert-goers to bring non-perishable food to donate to the effort.
  • I’m just going to quote straight from the Guardian in the UK for this item:

Artificial meat grown in vats may be needed if the 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050 are to be adequately fed without destroying the earth, some of the world’s leading scientists report today.

That’s right folks. Meat grown in vats. This is an interesting article that explores some real issues we will face sooner than we expect.

  • The New York Times profiled one of my favorite Food Network personalities, Guy Fieri, in an article that compares the chef to Sarah Palin (in a surprisingly accurate, non-offense way, if you can believe that). My dream is to have my own version of his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in which I travel across the country and eat at local places.

Picture courtesy of be_khe via Flickr

Bits and pieces: Hunger legislation, white versus wheat and other food news from the web, 8.9.10

One bread reigns supreme.
  • Shoppers, watch our for some white-on-wheat violence in the bread aisle. Consumers are buying more wheat bread than white bread for the first time, according to the Chicago Tribune. And some of the best performing of these breads are produces with buzz words such as “whole grain” and “natural” in the name. I have a confession: my favorite bread is Nature’s Own. Am I just a sheep in the big ol’ food pasture?
  • A Georgia woman is using cornbread in an attempt to fight the foreclosure of her home, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Beverly Davis lost her job and eventually her $134,000 home. So she’s started cooking up recipes based around cornbread and selling her goods. Here’s her blog and website.
  • The U.S. Senate recently passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a bill that will provide an additional $4.5 billion over 10 years to federal child nutrition programs, including school lunches, according to the Washington Post. The bill has not only received bi-partisan support, but First Lady Michelle Obama touted the measure in an op-ed in the Washington Post. Here’s some key points about the bill, which the senate passed by unanimous consent on Thursday, Aug. 5:
    • The bill allocates $1.2 billion to increase the number of children receiving food, an effort to meet President Obama’s pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015. The remaining $3.2 billion would be used to improve the quality of school meals. This includes an extra 6 cents per meal per student for schools that meet new, stricter nutrition standards and funding for schools to establish school gardens and to source local foods. (Washington Post)
    • The need for Federal food assistance has increased dramatically in recent years.  According to USDA’s November 2009 report, Household Food Security in the United States, 14.6 percent of U.S. households (17 million households representing 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children) were food insecure at least some time during the year. Of that number, 6.7 million households were classified as having very low food security, meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. (Democratic Policy Committee)
    • The House of Representatives would need to pass its version of the bill in time for President Obama to sign the legislation before Sept. 30, when it is set to expire, or the programs risk losing the newly found funding. (Washington Post)
    • Money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka food stamps) will be reallocated if the hunger-free kids act is made into law. (Politico)

*Photo courtesy of doitsunosensei via Flickr