Since 1995, chefs throughout the nation have held events bringing awareness to the problems of childhood hunger. October 16th, as World Hunger Day, was adopted as Childhood Hunger Day by the professional culinarians of the American Culinary Federation, the nation’s largest organization for chefs and cooks. The ACF Chef & Child Foundation is the philanthropic arm, whose mission is to be the voice of the American Culinary Federation in the fight against childhood hunger.
For the past twenty years, the chefs of the Jersey Shore have held a Childhood Hunger Day Forum. Since 2004, the FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties in Neptune has been the location. The annual effort has been chaired by Chef Phil Cragg, AAC, who has served on the National ACF Chef & Child Foundation Board for the past ten years. Members of the local ACF Jersey Shore Chefs Association Chapter provide an educational format in the sorting rooms, board room, classroom, garden and in the FoodBank’s warehouse food storage area. Different stations are set up sharing nutritional ideas and interactive lessons on good food choices with 3rd and 4th grade elementary school children from around Monmouth & Ocean Counties. In addition, the Food Bank itself is involved in healthy activities and exercise stations.
Children from 5 elementary school classes will participate in the Childhood Hunger Day Forum at the FoodBank. Elsewhere, other chapter chefs will be providing lunch at two local child feeding programs in Monmouth & Ocean counties using newly created recipes that are made solely from USDA Commodities. Throughout the year, food is also donated to the FoodBank’s Second Helping Program from the kitchens of professional chefs around Ocean & Monmouth counties.
Since 1995, the chapter was been recognized with national and regional awards by the American Culinary Federation for its unwavering efforts on behalf of childhood nutrition and specifically the program that is featured on Childhood Hunger Day.
Wendi Silver, Network Engagement Team Manager on Childhood Hunger in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Video credit: Quick4 Productions, LLC.