Feed a child, nourish a mind.

Feed South Africa. The Lunchbox Fund.

 

There are many sobering truths in this world we live in. One of the most astonishing is the number of children living in poverty worldwide. As a father of three (all girls!), this hits very close to home.

Many of the recipes featured on this site are made for my girls, to ensure their well being, to ensure they’re being fed the best food possible, to nourish body and mind. And, fortunately, they don’t have to worry about when (or if) their next meal is coming  — a very different reality from many other children, particularly in South Africa. 65% of all South African children live in poverty. That’s nearly 2 out of every 3. This number is staggering by itself, but consider the many negative impacts that come along with it — physically, mentally and emotionally.

As with our country, education can lead to a way out for these children — a better life. It all starts with a proper food supply and nutrition.

Lack of food can diminish concentration, erode willpower, and strip away a child’s potential. Compound that with prevalence of HIV/AIDS or the trauma of losing parents and loved ones, without food, a child’s attendance and performance at school is severely jeopardized.
The Giving Table, 2014

Imagine having to go to school not knowing when you’re going to eat next, still trying to concentrate, trying to ignore the growing pain in your stomach. This is what 4 million students in South Africa are faced with on a daily basis. If your child was this hungry, could they concentrate?

Schools here in the states are implementing programs to ensure that each child is afforded the opportunity to eat breakfast. In 2013, West Virginia passed the West Virginia Feed to Achieve Act, requiring schools to adopt such programs. Children in South Africa aren’t so fortunate and need our help.

Learn more about The Lunchbox Fund. Click to watch a video.

For those of us that are fortunate, it’s easy to take what we have for granted. For many of us, our biggest concern of the morning is the long line at Starbucks, waiting for our morning caffeine fix. Skipping just one of those morning lattes can be enough to feed a South African child their only meal of the day. Together, with organizations like The Giving Table and The Lunchbox Fund, we can work to erase this problem and ensure that every child, regardless of the country he or she lives in, has the same opportunity to nourish the mind and potentially make the next global impact through his or her success. We all share a common goal — make the world a better place to hand off to our children.

Today, with more than 100 food bloggers, The Giving Table and The Lunchbox Fund, we couldn’t be more pleased to take a stand with this post and share the opportunity to make a difference. We encourage you to skip the morning latte to feed a child.

To take it a step further, we’re also sharing a recipe below that is budget-friendly (less than $3 per person), using basic ingredients readily available at any supermarket. Make it for your lunch this week and consider donating the remainder of what you might have spent on one meal to help fund 100 more, for an entire year.

Ways to participate:

  • Make the recipe below, or another budget-friendly meal ($3-4 per person), this week and donate your savings to help feed these children in need
  • Use this link to donate what you can. Just $10 can make a difference.
  • Share this page with everyone you can to help join our cause. The largest ripples all start off small.

 

Roasted Root Vegetable Bisque

Serves 4-6

Not only is this recipe budget-friendly, it’s chock-full of nutritious vegetables and leaves you plenty satisfied for the remainder of your day.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

3 Tbs olive oil + 1 Tbs reserved

1/2 medium celery root

1 medium rutabaga

1 medium sweet potatoes

3 medium white potatoes

3 medium carrots

1 medium parsnip

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 c chicken stock

1/4 c heavy cream + extra for serving

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Peel and rough chop the first 6 vegetables. To ensure even cooking, make each piece roughly the same size. In a large bowl, place chopped vegetables and drizzle with 3 Tbs olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss. Place vegetables on foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway. Set aside.

2. In a large stockpot, heat remaining 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions until soft and starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add roasted vegetables, stir and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. With an immersion blender (or in batches with food processor), puree until smooth. Add heavy cream, stir and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. If at any point, the bisque seems too thick, add more chicken stock in 1/2 cup increments until you reach your desired consistency.

4. Serve in individual bowls, garnishing with green onion and a swirl of heavy cream.

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