There are so many reasons to eat well in this world. For the fortunate—those that have a paycheck to spend and nutritious food nearby to invest that paycheck in—there are many opportunities to do so.
But for some life doesn’t work that way. There isn’t a paycheck. Sometimes there isn’t even a store. And others to provide for you? That could very possibly be out of the question too.
For adults in this situation it can become a circular battle that just keeps spinning out of control. For an adult who isn’t sure of where their next meal is coming from, at least they can be hopeful that there is a way out and work toward that goal.
But what about the children? Children who don’t have access to food? Kids who are forever hungry. Starving even. Those little faces who have no control over where or if they’ll be eating today, tomorrow or next week? Can you imagine how scared they must feel? How overwhelming it must be to simply. not. know.
Today I’m asking that you join me in making a change in the lives of those that go hungry. I’m challenging you to join me in donating just $10 to The Lunchbox Fund to provide lunch for 100 school children for one year. A lunch that could possibly be there only meal of the day.
I’m challenging you to donate just $10 to those not as lucky as me, and I hope you too. To donate $10 or the same amount as what you’d spend for lunch at the salad bar at Whole Foods, or if you’re like me 2 days of large non-fat, sugar-free, vanilla lattes from my favorite drive-thru coffee stop. Or a bottle of not-so great but perfectly okay wine. That you’ll be drinking WITH dinner.
Yep, we’re lucky sons of guns.
This is my second time featuring a recipe and blog post in an effort to bring light to the social issue of hunger. You can read the first one here. Both efforts have been organized by The Giving Table, founded by Nicole of Eat This Poem. Last week I featured an interview with Nicole about why she started this philanthropic endeavor, as part of a bigger picture program that bridges food bloggers and worthy causes.
Today I’m joining nearly 100 other food bloggers to bring awareness to this plight. Our goal is to raise funds to feed 100 hungry school children in South Africa one lunch a day for an entire year.
The Lunchbox Fund has a mission to fight hunger for the 65 percent of all children in South Africa who live in poverty, including the 4 million children who aren’t eating a simple school lunch. They are not eating, but go to school and are expected to learn while their stomach grumble, their heads fog, and learning becomes a distraction when all one can do is dream of food.
Organizations like The Lunchbox Fund target hunger, an ongoing, dire issue in South Africa—to provicde the only meal some of these children will get for an entire day — in the classroom at school. This hunger fighting organization lends a tremendous opportunity to positively impact a whole generation in a way that will help them break the cycle of poverty while nourishing their bodies and minds simultaneously.
How Your Gift Keeps On Giving
The Lunchbox Fund identifies schools or forms partnerships with locally based NGOs or community organizations in order to evaluate and identify schools. It funds distributors to buy and deliver food, monitor the feeding scheme, implement a Project Manager, and deliver reports back to them for evaluation.
But don’t just think of the 100 kids you’ll be helping, think of that one lucky child, who when he or she reaches for a fresh banana at lunch will be thinking about friends, recess and reading instead of enviously watching the other children in the class eat in front of him as he stares into an empty, foodless space.
Please, consider donating to the Giving Table fundraising campaign to provide 100 South African school children a daily meal for one year.
Choose an amount, any amount, and give. Think of how many times you’ve gone out to lunch with friends this month. Or how many mornings you don’t think twice about stopping into your favorite coffee shop for a $5 coffee. Take that thought and put it to work.
Today’s recipe bridges several gaps in this conversation. It’s lunch. You eat lunch at school. It’s pizza. Kids love pizza. And it’s mushrooms. I love mushrooms. And it started with a food combo I see every time I go to the grocery store. Because I’m lucky that way. I live in the United States, I make a paycheck and I have a grocery store nearby to spend it in.
My grocery store sells freshly pre-packaged mushrooms layered with cheese and spinach, ready for the buyer to go home and pop into the oven and eat right on up.
I liked the idea and thought, hey, I could riff on that. Pizza for lunch in a simple, gluten-free, easy low-carb way. With cheese. DING DING DING! Fewer ingredients than traditional pizza (no crust) but just as delicious for lunch.
Or if you want to throw an egg on it, it makes for an amazing breakfast. For lunch. Or dinner.
- 2 portobello mushrooms, gills and stems removed
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- ½ cup prepared marinara sauce, I like this one
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 5-6 olives, sliced
- Parmesan cheese, slivered
- Basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place portobello mushrooms on a baking sheet stem side up. Fill the middle of one mushroom with half of the spinach leaves, ¼ cup of the marinara sauce and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Top with half of the Italian seasoning then top with half of the sliced cherry tomatoes and half of the olives.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with Parmesan cheese, basil and more marinara sauce if desired.
Please consider donating to The Lunchbox Fund via The Giving Table and thank you in advance for making a change for children who are now, no longer hungry.
This post is from the heart and all opinions are my own. But when I do, thank you for supporting the companies I partner with so I can promote causes like this.