Thursday, March 29, 2012

Child Hunger Ends Here

I'll never forget that awkward moment when my children whine about how hungry they were, that they were starving as we waited for our food at, yes, an Ethiopian restaurant.

We're fortunate that we can roll our eyes at that. The US does not have the number of starving children one might find in a developing nation, but we do have a shockingly high number of food insecure children. That is, children who do not eat three meals a day, children who might not even eat three meals a weekend.

More than 16 million children in the US face hunger.

I shared a few of my thoughts about this at the recent Blissdom Conference along with conference sponsor (and my client) ConAgra Foods.

ConAgra Foods is helping feed our nation's hungry children and you can help, too.

• Enter codes from participating ConAgra Foods products at Child Hunger Ends Here, and remind your friends and family to do the same.
• In addition to helping our nation's food bank system when you enter a code at Child Hunger Ends Here you'll also get access to the “Here’s Hope” song by Jewel, Jay Sean or Owl City.

Learn more about child hunger in the US at Find out what you can do to help your local food pantry as well.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

#Winning with California Raisins

Disclosure: these medals are from my teen, not my team.
The California Raisins folks hosted a lovely suite at Blissdom. Set up like a large, cozy kitchen with a dining area and life-size raisin guy, they offered fresh baked raisin treats and a make-your-own trail mix buffet, which provided me with a delicious on the go breakfast at the airport Sunday morning.

They gave away branded baking gear, spatulas and whisks left out on the table for the taking.

I thought the whisks would be a fun gift for the students on the Food Science team I coach, but I am not a swagwhore. I wasn't about to grab a handful and run.

So I talked to one of the ladies in the room and told her about my team, how we bake and do so much more to understand the science behind our food. We discussed the national Science Olympiad program and the other events involved. And she happily gave me four whisks.

(In the interest of knowing what's in our food and reading nutrition labels, also part of Food Science competition, here's an interesting raisins vs. craisins comparison.)

I was going to give the whisks to my kids right after Blissdom, but then decided that they'd have to earn them. I knew they could.

At yesterday's regional competition, my junior varsity group placed first and my varsity team earned second place.

I'm proud of their hard work (and somewhere between relieved and self-congratulatory that I supported them in their efforts as it's never clear exactly what they will be tested on).

They'll be going to state, where the competition will really heat up. Today, we'll celebrate their success and make plans to whip up yet another victory next month.

I heard through the grapevine that the raisin suite was worth visiting.  

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hag Purim with Hershey's!

Twizzler's, Hershey's Kisses and other goodies!
The folks from Hershey's had an adorable interactive display at the Blissdom conference that allowed attendees to send custom Easter Shalach Manot (Purim) baskets to their family or a friend. They even added to the fun with a costumed Easter Bunny Queen Esther handing out chocolate eggs hamentashen to passersby.

No wait. One of my challenges in life is having trouble accepting the way things are instead of the way I want them to be, as noted above.

The fact is though, that the Jewish holiday of Purim takes place just a few weeks before Easter and is often celebrated with shalach manot, festive gifts of candy and food.

The other fact is that I never turn down free chocolate.

And so, though some might ask, "Who put the Cadbury Creme Eggs in my shalach manot?"

And others would inquire, "Who put the hamentashen in my Easter basket?"

I'm licking my fingers and proclaiming, "We've got two great tastes that go great together!"

Even if the holidays do not.

Thanks to Hershey's for sponsoring Blissdom 2012.

I can't part without a nod to this year's viral Purim video, The Book of Purim.