Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Hats off today to our friends at City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Thanks to EECM's Super-Admin (who just happens to be a member of City Reformed) the congregation hosted a month-long food drive benefiting EECM's Have a Heart for Hunger campaign.
The response was terrific. They collected more than 100 food items as well as some baby necessities like diapers and baby shampoo. Here's a partial list:
9 boxes of cereal
13 boxes of Mac and Cheese
16 cans of soup
6 cans of fruit
17 cans of veggies
8 jars of pasta sauce
2 jars of peanut butter
2 jars of jelly
4 boxes of pasta
6 boxes of raisins
3 cans of salmon
2 cans of chicken
3 packages of rice
4 cans of tuna
3 jars of applesauce
2 cans of pasta
3 boxes of Jello/pudding
2 boxes of stuffing
What's particularly great about this food drive is that it targeted "food of the month" items -- those foods that we use (and need) all the time at the Pantry. Everything in red above is a food of the month item. Each of the more than 400 families that comes through the Pantry each month receives these items, so food drives focusing on these much-needed things are extra helpful!*
*Of course, we happily accept and use donations of all types of non-perishable food items. Click here for more information on donating food to the Pantry.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Back in July, I blogged about a terrific urban gardening project being organized by Allegheny Valley Bank. Well, they're back (although minus the gardening shears this time)! Our friends at AVB are once again partnering with EECM, this time for our Have a Heart for Hunger campaign.
These guys are terrific. They are hosting a six-week long food drive at all six of their Pittsburgh branches, collecting non-perishable food items for our Food Pantry.
It's particularly great to see the company-wide support of this project. Pictured in the snapshot below you'll see Andrew W. Hasley, President & CEO of Allegheny Valley Bank, and Gregory J. Saxon, Chairman of the Board. Both donated personally to the drive and were big promoters of the effort.
So far, the employees and patrons of AVB have collected well over a hundred pounds of food and $237 in cash donations. Thank You!!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Here's another cool Have a Heart for Hunger fundraising idea -- The Sixburgh Challenge.* This bit of creativity comes compliments of one of EECM's terrific Board members. The basic premise is simple: she sent out an email with information about the campaign to her friends, challenging them to donate $6 and forward the email on to 6 people.
Yup, it's a pyramid scheme -- but with a higher purpose.
The Sixburgh Challenge has the benefit of being both quick and easy. The email comes in, you click on the "donate now" link, you forward the message on. You're done! You've fed the hungry and made a difference in the community and it only took two minutes. Not too shabby.
So far, The Sixburgh Challenge has raised more than $600 for the Have a Heart for Hunger campaign. Woo hoo!
*In honor of the Steelers six Superbowl wins. And if you didn't know that, you're clearly not from around here...
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
The pomegranate fared much better. “This is 100% good,” announced one boy, his surprise at this discovery clear on his face.
And so it continued. Cajun jambalaya, egg rolls, enchiladas, Asian pears, mangoes, coconuts, star fruit, pluots, and a host of other exotic produce each made an appearance and were duly sampled by the twenty elementary students assembled for East End Cooperative Ministry’s Cultural Food Day.
Before each taste test, EECM staff spoke for a minute or two about the food about to be eaten – its origins, special qualities, and preparation requirements. There were also guest speakers who explained some of the cultural aspects of the foods being sampled. Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who originally hailed from New Orleans, brought the jambalaya. They talked about the history of Mardis Gras food and the difference between Cajun and Creole. A bit later, an Italian-American teacher from the students’ school shared her culture while everyone enjoyed lasagna.
Cultural Food Day isn’t just about good eating; it’s an important and carefully planned component of EECM’s violence prevention curriculum, funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation. The take-away message is simple and subtle: different doesn’t mean bad. Trying new and unfamiliar things is a positive experience, even if you don’t end up loving that new thing.
Lack of respect for the “other” is often at the root of human violence and the misunderstandings begin early. EECM seeks to combat violence at its root, by promoting acceptance of difference among our youngest students.
After all, if food from other people's cultures turns out to be delicious, maybe the people aren’t so bad themselves.