5 Ways to Give Back with Food

Being involved in the culinary industry is sometimes an embarrassment of riches. Whether we are working professionals, educators, or students of Los Angeles cooking schools, we are constantly surrounded by the best that our vocation has to offer: food, and often a lot of it.

A typical restaurant throws away enough food in a single dinner shift to feed a family for a week. While that is not necessarily something that is completely reversible or even anyone’s fault, it is something to consider when so many around the world, and here at home, are having a difficult time providing meals to their families.

So the question is: How do we as culinary professionals, educators, and students give back and help those who are less fortunate than we are?

Fortunately, there are charities that specialize in helping people receive the food and tools they require to feed themselves and their families. As students of culinary schools, we may not have the means to make monetary donation, but these charities happily accept plain old hard work and volunteerism as well.

Here are five charities that are making a difference to hungry people all around the world.

Heifer International
http://www.heifer.org
Their goal of ending world hunger begins with the gift of sustainable livestock. Donors give to purchase livestock for recipients. The recipients, in turn, receive training and education to create small businesses around the animals selling milk, wool, eggs, and other sustainable products.

Share Our Strength
http://www.strength.org
More than 16 million American children live at risk of hunger where they don’t have access to the required amount or proper quality of food available to them. Share Our Strength strives to end childhood hunger in the U.S. through education and awareness programs and by investing in communities to help them provide their members with more access to nutritious food.

Feeding America
http://www.feedingamerica.org
Millions of Americans struggle with providing enough food for their families and themselves. Many are eligible for help from local and regional food banks. Feeding America is a food bank locator and information repository whose mission it is to feed America’s hungry. Find your local food bank and lend a hand.

Action Against Hunger
http://www.actionagainsthunger.org 
This international humanitarian organization is dedicated to ending world hunger and saving the lives of malnourished children around the world. Through donations, relief efforts, and education, they provide access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger.

City Harvest
http://www.cityharvest.org
Serving the restaurant capital of the U.S., New York City, City Harvest collects and redistributes food from the city’s restaurants, grocers, wholesalers, and other food producers. More than 100,00 pounds of food are collected daily to redistribute to the more than 1.5 million New Yorkers who live in poverty and struggle with hunger.

There are, of course, hundreds of other charitable organizations that attempt to meet the needs of the hungry. Look for one in your community and put your interest and skills in the culinary world to work for those who need our help.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Los Angeles, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Los-Angeles for more information. 

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