One Food Day down, 364 to go…

24 October 2012 § 2 Comments

Today—Wednesday October 24th—was Food Day, and Food Day is a both a celebration of food and a national advocate for a healthy, affordable and sustainable approach to food.

Sadly, we need Food Day because so many Americans are denied food – healthy, affordable, sustainable or otherwise. Fortunately, I have the privilege of an enjoyable and profitable relationship with food. I cook and write about it for a living. I love food. I love thinking about food and planning the next meal. And even though food costs are increasing, I understand that I am one of those who continues to enjoy access to good food.

Me and my family  generally get to pick and choose what we eat. Food Day is for those who don’t.

Last year at Food Day I volunteered for the first time at The Salvation Army in Montclair, I spent the morning chopping root vegetables.

First off, while I was there  I was surprised to learn—no, that is an understatement: shocked to learn—that the Salvation Army in our lovely, comfortable town feeds 60 people in need every single day. The people they look after represent a real cross-section of society and serves as a reminder that so many people end up there through bad luck. They eat at The Salvation Army Monday to Wednesday, then Toni’s Kitchen Thursday through Saturday and various churches on Sunday.

Secondly, I was touched—genuinely touched—by the unswerving dedication of the people who work at The Salvation Army. They witness so much sadness each day yet retain a profound sense of humor and kindness.

After that first visit, I enlisted the help of a very good friend and soon, cooking at the Citadel became a regular commitment. Each week, we would try to prepare something healthy and delicious, an equation that is hard to balance when you are reliant on donations.

So fast forward a year and it is Food Day again. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Kings we were able to cook a seasonal and delicious meal.

The volunteers from Kings helping serve lunch at The Salvation Army Montclair

Kings donated a huge amount of produce, meat and dairy for our lunch on Food Day and also for the Fall Food Classic. This is the fundraiser event we are are having this Friday to raise money for The Salvation Army’s lunch program. They even provided beautiful, autumnal table arrangements.

12 wonderful associates from Kings also came to volunteer, helping with preparation, serving and clean-up.

Now back to the food, as after all it is Food Day.

Here’s what was on the menu:

  • Squash and corn fritters with spiced apple chutney
  • Feta, candied walnut and pear salad in a honey balsamic dressing
  • Butternut squash soup or Beef Barley Stew
  • Apple and Pear Crisp

So while Food Day is a great celebration of food and where it comes from, it is good to share some of the tasty bounty with those who have less access to it.

In reality though, there are another 364 days a year to worry about…

Tickets for the Fall Food Classic to raise funds for the Montclair Salvation Army hot lunch program this Friday are all sold out but you can still make donations by contacting Michele Kroeze at mkroeze@use.salvationarmy.org

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