I’m just one of many content creators who create recipes, take drool-inducing photos of their inspired dishes (hopefully) and share it with the world through blogs.
The ingredients we shop for and the food we make is readily accessible and plentiful. Shopping at the grocery store is just a car-ride /subway stop /quick walk away from our fully-functioning kitchens.
A visit to the weekend farmer’s market with morning coffee in hand is a social event, not a matter of life or death.
And the happiness of sharing a leisurely Sunday dinner with those you love makes it all the more easy to forget that there is a whole other side of the world out there. To forget that hunger plagues too many of those less fortunate.
And that too many of those who are less fortunate are innocent children.
On February 10, 2014, food bloggers are putting their words and photos to work. Food bloggers are coming together for a nationwide fundraiser with the goal of raising funds to provide one daily meal to 100 South African schoolchildren for one year. If you are a food blogger, you can join us in making a difference. If you are a reader, you can donate and do your part. It’s a win-win for each side of the globe.
This food blogging organizational inspiration began with Los Angeles native, innovative philanthropist, and food blogger of Eat this Poem Nicole Gulotta, the driving force behind The Giving Table. The inspiring nonprofit, which she started in 2011, brings likeminded food bloggers from all corners of the globe together for powerful social change.
Nicole organizes short-term fundraising campaigns every few months, and enlists the help of the food blog community. “I had been thinking about food and philanthropy for some time, and wanted to find a way for those two interests to intersect,” says Nicole. “Sitting at a conference dinner one evening, I realized the great potential that bloggers have to make a difference – it was just a matter of finding the right giving model that would align with our work and achieve the greatest collective impact.”
“During our last campaign, bloggers thanked me for providing a forum to discuss tough issues like food stamps and childhood hunger. It blew me away. These stories were waiting to be told, but until there was an organized forum, bloggers didn’t feel like it was appropriate to share,” Nicole explains. “It created a space for bloggers to connect more deeply with their readers and feel supported to do so. That’s a good feeling.”
When searching for campaigns, Nicole looks for projects that are reachable, like The Lunchbox Fund, which immediately tugged at her heartstrings.
“Because I work in the philanthropic sector, I’m always exposed to organizations making a difference in the world, and I was first drawn to The Lunchbox Fund because of their story.”
65 percent of all children in South Africa live in poverty, and 4 million children aren’t eating a simple school lunch. The Lunchbox Fund has a mission to fight hunger among these children.
By partnering with this organization, led by South African Topaz Page-Green, Nicole and The Giving Table will help raise money by rallying the help of the food blogger community.
On Monday, February 10th, participating food bloggers will donate their posts to raise funds for this project. Their goal is to raise $5,000 to accomplish this. “With Feed South Africa, we’ll be able to provide 100 students a daily meal for an entire year, and receive updates from the organization to see how our funding was being used. That’s powerful.”
Through The Giving Table, Nicole reaches out to bloggers and asks them to donate their posts to a campaign. They then write a post, create a recipe, then have a call to action encouraging readers to be socially and financially active. Proceeds are then donated via Causes. “Donating a post is a natural extension of what bloggers do every day. They tell stories, develop recipes, and take photos. Why not dedicate a blog post several times a year to a bigger cause? The fact that others have joined with me and believed in this message is still amazing to me.” Previous campaigns include “Food Bloggers Against Hunger,” and “Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes.”
Nicole has high hopes for what 2014 will bring for The Giving Table. “I think when people see the power we have to effect change and do something valuable in the world with minimal effort, it will cause a ripple in the food blog community. That’s my hope, at least. The more of us who get involved, the more we can do.”
Why should you help?
Organizations like The Lunchbox Fund target hunger, which is an ongoing, dire issue in South Africa—the only meal some of these children get is in a classroom. These hunger fighting organizations lend 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.
”I’ve learned that people care deeply about making a difference and doing something that matters, but that they don’t always have the tools to move forward, so I designed our giving model with this in mind,” explains Nicole.
How can you help?
Last year I donated this post for Food Bloggers Against Hunger and am doing so again for the children of The Lunchbox Fund.
The power behind The Giving Table’s “donate a post” model lies in the existing network of food bloggers. Whether you’re a “healthy blogger,” a “sweet blogger,” or a “family-friendly blogger” or whatever other blogger, you must join the cause. Combined, there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of readers who when they see the same message on the same day, cannot ignore the message of compassion for those in need.
Just think about the potential. If 1,000 readers across our sites donated just $10, that’s $10,000 for charity.
Photos courtesy of The Lunchbox Fund and Nicole Gulotta
Reporting by the talented Hayley Teater. Read, see and eat more with her here.
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.