For the last two years, I’ve volunteered at No Kid Hungry’s Taste of the Nation Los Angeles. I am a proud member of this team!
My friends Carrie and Marie go too! Carrie’s husband Dave joined the terrific trio this year. He took this picture. Thanks Dave!
Marie and I were assigned to registration this year. It was our job to welcome ticket holders to the event. That was cool, especially since 100% of the proceeds from every ticket sale goes to the fight to end childhood hunger. Over the last 25 years, in nearly 40 cities across the USA and Canada, Taste of the Nation events have raised over $80 million dollars and helped fund more than 1,000 different anti-hunger organizations!
Carrie and Dave worked at the stage, setting up and helping at the Creekstone Farms Burger Battle between Chef Ray Garcia (FIG Restaurant) and Chef Kris Morningstar (Ray’s and Stark Bar). They said it was a lot of fun! We heard Chef Garcia’s burger won. You may remember Chef Ray from the California Spiny Lobster Demo I shared with you earlier this year! The judges were Aida Mollenkamp from Food Network, Pulitzer Prize winning Jonathan Gold, LA Times food Critic and Evan Kleiman, cookbook author and host of KCRW’s Good Food. How cool is that? I wish I had pictures of the cook-off but I was busy! Here is one snapshot I got as we were walking past the stage.
Taste of the Nation events are FUN! They offer attendees great food, great drinks and the opportunity to meet some of the best local culinary talent each city has to offer. There are giveaways during the event, silent and live auctions, and in Los Angeles the VIP ticket holders get a swag bag filled with goodies from National and local Sponsors, their own special place to hang out, and famous Chefs cooking just for them!
While we weren’t in the VIP section, we were blessed to snag some wonderful bites on our lunch break! Here is just a small sampling of what was available:
Even better than the amazing food and drinks, is the cause this event supports. We are such a rich nation, yet very day, over 16 million children in the United States, go to bed hungry. Summer can be especially hard. When school is out, thousands of kids who depend on free or low-cost breakfast and lunch at school, face long, hot months of missed meals. Despite programs offered during the summer, barely 1/4 take advantage of it. That means 3 out of 4 kids who are eligible, will go hungry. As a teacher and a Mom, I know how hard it is for kids to function when they are hungry. It’s not any way to grow up. Our children are our greatest resource. They need to be fed and nurtured so they can take care of this planet and us, when they are older!
For the record, I am NOT sponsored or endorsed by Share Our Strength and No Kid Hungry. This is just a cause I believe strongly in supporting. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know I’ve also done Bake Sales for Share Our Strength and volunteered baked goods and my time! When I was in Houston last year at the National Convention of the company I worked for, I spent time volunteering at the Houston Food Bank.
I’m not asking you to donate (but if you feel so inclined, awesome!) I’m simply sharing this message from my heart. My children never went without a meal. We were blessed to be able to support and feed them. Other parents aren’t so lucky. Those families are the reason I volunteer and will continue to volunteer and donate to Share Our Strength.
I’ve taken the pledge to help end childhood hunger in the United States. I believe no child should ever have to wonder if they’ll be able to eat today.
If you happen to have a Taste of the Nation event in a city near you, I’d encourage you to check it out, or see if they need volunteers! We had 209 volunteers this year!! I hope you enjoyed this years glimpse of TOTNLA and thanks for reading. Have a blessed weekend everyone!