#BrownBagIt Chef Ambassadors
Action Against Hunger is proud to share recipes from our chef ambassadors, representing Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Find out more:
Causes like ours are supported every day by individuals, directly and indirectly. We wanted to take a moment and reach out to some of the people who are doing what they can to take action against hunger.
Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they did us!
Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to participate and help spread the word.
Founder & President of Good Food for Good
Good Food for Good stands for good food for you, and food for someone in need. We are committed to making a difference one meal at a time not only in the lives of people who eat our food but also in the lives of people in need. It’s a Buy One Feed One venture. Every time you buy Good Food for Good we feed a person in need with the help of our giving partners The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Food Banks Canada.
Growing up in India, a country with really high rate of hunger, I was always cognizant of the issue and wanted to do something to make a difference. Good Food for Good felt like a perfect solution to not only make a difference in this fight against hunger but also in the fight against bad food. Our food is always made with best possible organic ingredients that are free of most common allergens, preservatives, refined sugars and gluten.
I believe no matter how small the impact is every little bit counts and we as citizens of this world economy have the duty to make that impact. As a consumer we vote with our wallets everyday. Making conscious choices that help provide food security is a good start. Knowing that only a fraction of what we spend on our coffee everyday could feed someone in need is very empowering.
I have made personal choices, like where I drink my coffee, that have allowed me to personally contribute more to this fight. Supporting organizations like Action Against Hunger, Food Banks and variety of local and international organizations that are helping people become more food secure always help.
Founder of Travelling Foodie
Personally, I hate wasting food. I came from the Philippines where poverty is quite rampant. Growing up, my parents always instilled in us not to waste food when there’s so many others needing them. I am often shocked when people just leave their leftovers to be thrown away. It really is such a waste when you know there’s people dying of hunger. We don’t know how fortunate we are to have the food we have. Therefore, I always make sure either:
- I finish the food
- I take it home to eat another time
- I take it out to give to someone who needs it
As a blogger, I use my blog and social media to help promote a good cause. Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend World Vision Canada’s #hungerfree Campaign kick-off dinner which united food-loving Canadians together to promote the idea that a #hungerfree world is possible, that everyone deserves access to sustainable supply of healthy and nutritious food. It was a great cause, and I was glad to take part in spreading the word to my readers.
When I go to food events where there are food on display for pictures, I actually ask if they will be throwing the food away afterwards because I’d rather take them home or give to someone if they are. It’s unnecessarily wasteful to just throw it. For me, the simplest thing we can all do to help provide food security is to not waste food and to take only what we can eat.
These are things nobody can make excuses of not being able to do. They both go hand-in-hand because if we only take what we can eat, then there wouldn’t be leftovers to waste. By not wasting food nor taking more than you should, you’re allowing someone else to eat that food and not go hungry.
This same principle applies to clean drinking water, and especially water in general. When you waste food, you are also wasting all the water used to make that food: from the water used by the plant or animal to grow, and the person who had to tend to them, to the water used to clean and cook it.
Founder of ToFoodies
Right now at ToFoodies, we frequently partner with charitable causes that deal with food scarcity by providing media coverage, hosting giveaways and donating our merchandise for fundraising events. It is a privilege to be able to help spread awareness to our large, specific audience about organizations that could really use their time and attention.
As for the whole world, we all need to keep educating ourselves on these issues, figure out the power we each wield, and then get out there to actually do more. We can definitely do more.
Food Writer at Simple Bites
I’m a freewill ambassador for HungerFree, a division of World Vision.
In addition to raising awareness for world hunger, I write for their blog, develop recipes for their Quarterly subscription box, and contribute to a quarterly mini mag. I also use my social media presence to raise aid for hunger relief in developing countries.
We can all educate ourselves for starters. Educate our children. Raise awareness. Support organizations like HungerFree and the UN WFP.
Food Photographer & Founder of The Girl on Bloor
As a food blogger, I try to reduce my food waste and share it with my community to combat hunger.
Something I would like to look into doing in the future is donating some of the food I have leftover from photoshoots to ensure none of it goes to waste. I also donate part of my income each year to a couple of charitable organizations that provide long-term solutions to food insecurity – whether that’s a food bank in Toronto or an organization that helps provide clean drinking water abroad.
I think all we can really do is educate ourselves and provide help, whether financially or by volunteering our time, in combating hunger. It’s a serious issue and one we take for granted everyday – access to good, nutritional foods should be available worldwide and any small measure to help make that happen is much needed!
Celebrity Chef, TV Host, Author & Recording Artist // Website
As an Ambassador for Save the Children, I support their ongoing initiatives globally like Child Hunger Crisis, which is addressing droughts, food shortages, and famine, in six different countries.
There are millions of children on the brink of starvation, and through my ongoing support with Save the Children, we are working to ensure that every last child is cared for. Save the Children’s work on the ground not only addresses food security and clean water, but also treats the health ramifications of malnutrition, and focuses on ensuring that children do not lose the opportunity to attend school – learn and grow – during times of crisis and emergency. In terms of what everyone can do, donations can be made to Save The Children’s, Child Hunger Crisis online here.
Author & Founder of Cause Matters Corp
Providing food security for the whole world is a priority of North America agriculture. After seeing the eyes of starving children in South Africa, working with farmers in the Ukraine, and providing training in Egypt, I believe strongly in taking action against hunger – both abroad and in the United States. My work as a professional speaker and author addresses issues critical to food security and clean drinking water, such as sustainability, biotechnology, food waste, modern farming practices, chemicals and food safety addressed in Food Truths from Farm to Table.
What can we all do to help provide food security? Embrace progress in food production. Innovations such as GPS result in more precise product application to better protect water quality. No-till, cover crops and pasture management reduce erosion. Genetics make animals more efficient and plants naturally resistant to pests. Beyond the environmental implications, progress in farming makes for more affordable food, practices/products that offer impoverished areas solutions to grow their own food, and food to solve health issues related to malnourishment.
Recognize hunger is an issue we should all be concerned about; the debate we have around what is the “right” food in the U.S. and Canada is a very privileged position. Rather than solely focusing on marketing issues around food, I believe we have to realize the need for food extends well beyond our own plate. For example, 40% of the food in the U.S. is thrown away while one in six people live in food insecurity. People who stand in line for the newest iPhone are often against technology in food production, with little consideration of those who live in food insecurity around the world. I believe it’s time to change that with a different conversation around food and farming; one that is based in truth from those producing food and includes a high priority for addressing hunger.
Journalist at JaneBlack.net
When most people think about fighting hunger, they imagine working in a soup kitchen. But the way I fight hunger every day is to avoid wasting food. I buy only what I need and am relentless, with the help of my super-cook husband, to turn leftovers into something we want to eat. In the United States, consumers are responsible for 40 percent of the food that is thrown away. That is, obviously, food that could go to people who need it. But it also has huge environmental costs: the water used to grow it, the fuel used to transport it etc.
Not wasting food starts long before you go to the store. You have to plan: when are you going to be home? What do you have time to cook? Are you being realistic about what you like to eat? (If you don’t like kale, then buying it is the same as buying a too-tight pair of jeans and hoping you’ll fit into them.) Be realistic about what you will (and won’t) eat.
Author & Founder of TasteReport.com
You might have heard the phrase “waste not, want not” from your grandmother.
Minimizing waste is essential when food is scarce, but it’s also my mantra in our age of excess. Because wasting food is not sustainable, and if we want a sustainable food system, one that provides everyone in the world with enough to eat, ending waste is imperative.
According to the UN, we waste 30-40 per cent of the food we produce, enough food to feed 3 billion people.
There’s waste across the food system, but half of the food we waste is tossed out at home. You have the power to change that reality.
A lot of food is also wasted because we refuse to buy cosmetically imperfect produce. Supermarkets and wholesalers reject it, too, so farmers aren’t paid and crops end up as compost, not cash to feed families.
So resolve to opt out of that system of perfection, buying over- or under-sized produce, odd bits and by-catch (think chicken liver pate or sardines), and ripe bananas that you can freeze for smoothies or banana muffins.
Make a small mind shift and consider how much food you’re buying, and wasting. Don’t throw away food when it hits some arbitrary “best before” date — resolve to use it. “Cook backwards” letting the food you have on hand, not a new recipe, determine what you will cook tonight. And think like a chef when you see leftovers in the fridge. Leftovers are not garbage, they’re pre-prepped convenience foods that help you make something delicious quickly.
There’s enough food in the world to feed the hungry. But your choices can influence the entire system. The problems result when over-consumption, and waste, in some countries leaves others without.
Eat what’s on your plate — or in your fridge and pantry — and you can be part of the solution.
Cinda Chavich is the author of the Waste Not Want Not Cookbook.
I am a “seasoned” food journalist based in Toronto.
For more than 25 years as food editor for major newspapers, 18 of those at The Toronto Star – Canada’s largest newspaper – I have made a point of writing about how food, nutrition and cooking affects everyone’s life. It’s a fact that all people have to eat, and cooking – though it seems to be dying art in need of revival – is a survival skill.
I resigned from my 18-year position at The Toronto Star in 2007. I now work as a freelance food sleuth®, writer, broadcaster and cook. As before, I feel it is my job to entertain and educate via the universal connector: food.
Then there are those who don’t have enough food. Even in Canada’s seemingly affluent cities and countryside, there are those who are hungry. It is more well known that there are hungry people in developing nations like Africa, Asia and South America.
I write and talk about what I know. To this end, I have written about Toronto shelters and missions that serve the homeless and other at-risk individuals who need a cooked meal. Often, these are prepared from donated food distributed by worthy groups like Second Harvest. I have written about food banks sadly all too necessary as the number needing them constantly grows. A few years ago, I helped organize several gala dinners, cooked by volunteer and well-known women chefs, to raise money for Sistering, a women’s drop-in and shelter in downtown Toronto. They used that to renovate and expand their busy kitchen. I offered my services and co-wrote a cookbook in aid of FoodShare: a non-profit organization that gets good healthy food and food education to schools and communities.
Most recently, I created a podcast with the folks from Inner City Family Health team in downtown Toronto who work with St. Michael’s Hospital and Seaton House, a large shelter. I attended a cooking session at 519 Community Centre they hold every three weeks and recorded the voices of men who are or have been homeless as they cooked a lunch of paella.