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Les Petits Chefs raise awareness about hunger

emtpy plateOne of my goals with Les Petits Chefs this holiday season was to use our talent in the kitchen to give back to those less fortunate than us.  We really are so lucky – we all have a roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in and enough food to eat – unfortunately this is not a reality for many people, and I think promoting awareness of this is so important.  Our school is actively involved in working with the Out of the Cold program at St Thomas’ Church and we were invited to be a part of the December meal by contributing a dish.

The Out of the Cold program is a volunteer initiative that consists of congregations from faith groups, community members and advocates who provide safe refuge, hospitality and emergency shelter to the homeless community throughout the City of Toronto.

As I was pondering what our contribution could be, I was made aware of a Kraft Canada initiative along the same lines.  To help make the holidays delicious and allow us all to give back during the festive season, Kraft Canada created the Kraft Recipe for Joy program. For each Recipe for Joy e-card sent, Kraft will donate $2 to Food Banks Canada.  Kraft have set their goal at $50,000 to help alleviate hunger during the holidays.

As part of Recipe for Joy, Kraft provided me with a gift basket and a $200 gift card to purchase ingredients to host a party to raise awareness about hunger over the holidays. As soon as I saw this offer, I knew that I wanted to use the gift card to buy ingredients for the dishes we would contribute for the Out of the Cold dinner. I chose three recipes from the Recipe for Joy “recipe box”: Crowd pleasing scalloped potatoes, Weeknight ravioli bake and Mom’s best bite sized meatballs (click on the recipe names to download a PDF of the recipe) and the boys generously gave up their hour of cooking club time (and the fruits of their labour) to cook for those less fortunate.

I don’t have any photos of the finished products, though I peeked at them as they were going into the fridges – yum!  I hope the recipients enjoy them as much as the boys enjoyed making them.

If you would like to help those less fortunate, consider donating to Food Banks Canada.  Click on the logo to donate:

If you would prefer to send an e-card through the Kraft Recipe for Joy program, click on the image below.  Kraft Canada will donate $2 for each e-card sent.

Les Petits Chefs and I say “thank you”. Every little bit helps.

(the empty plate photo at the beginning of the post was supplied by Jennifer Perillo who encouraged American bloggers to spread awareness about hunger last month at US Thanksgiving)

Speaking of giving back, thanks to all who entered my Harold McGee giveaway last week. I chose the winner via random.org and the winner was #28, Paula from bell’alimento!

Congratulations Paula! I know you will love this book.  I will email you with prize details :-)

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37 Responses to Les Petits Chefs raise awareness about hunger

  1. Dawn@CocinaSavant December 9, 2010 at 08:52 #

    this is wonderful! what a great activity to have them participate in and a touching post for the holidays. i love it :)

  2. Belinda @zomppa December 9, 2010 at 09:03 #

    Thank you for all that you do. It’s hopeful that this generation is going to grow up with an awareness and sincere caring to make positive impact. PS passing you a blogger award – see the photo of the day. =)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 13, 2010 at 19:34 #

      I hope they do. It’s important to learn awareness and caring at a young age. These guys are definitely on the right track.

  3. Paula - bell'alimento December 9, 2010 at 09:06 #

    You never cease to amaze me. Beautiful Mardi! Thank you SO much xoxo

  4. Laura December 9, 2010 at 09:25 #

    What a great idea – I’m so glad that you’re promoting these great causes and working through Let Petits Chefs to do even more! I think far too many people forget about the importance of being grateful and giving back at this time of year – it’s too easy to get caught up in holiday shopping I guess. Thanks for doing your part to increase awareness and give back!

  5. sara @CaffeIna December 9, 2010 at 10:56 #

    You always have 1000 and 1 wonderful ideas. This is very admirable! Les Petit Chef could not have a more inspiring teacher!

  6. Helene December 9, 2010 at 11:22 #

    This is such a great initiative of Kraft. I love when a company raises awareness on hunger during the Holiday season.

  7. Paula December 9, 2010 at 12:59 #

    You should be commended for instilling the need to *pay it forward* within our local communities with your young students. You are not only teaching them wonderful cooking skills but you are character building with them.
    This past summer while visiting my sister in Burlington she invited me to attend their church supper for those less fortunate. Various churches in her area take turns hosting/providing these dinners throughout the year. We both brought desserts and had the opportunity to sit and chat with the people after everyone was served. I met a young boy there about the age of your students and was so charmed by him. He told me that he wanted to grow up to be a chef one day. I hope opportunities present themselves to him in the coming years so that he may fulfill that hope.
    Thank you for bringing Kraft’s program to my attention, this is the first I have heard of it.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 13, 2010 at 19:33 #

      You are so welcome – me too but I was happy to support it. Worked in well with the Out of the Cold program too!

  8. Joy December 9, 2010 at 14:50 #

    You are doing amazing things with these kids, Mardi. I just wish there were more people like you!

  9. Lora December 9, 2010 at 15:56 #

    Wonderful! I love the last photo of all the helping hands.

  10. Ethan December 9, 2010 at 18:14 #

    What a great post and I’m loving that your petits chefs wanted to help and support the cause as well. You’re teaching them about food and more importantly about life in the kitchen.

  11. RJ Flamingo December 9, 2010 at 18:20 #

    Wonderful post, Mardi! Your petits chefs are learning amazing skills and the rewards of generosity, as well. Brava!

  12. Jackie December 9, 2010 at 20:59 #

    I think you are much mistake. PM for detail.

    …just kidding ;) I think this is a marvellous cause, Mardi, and so good of the boys to give up their cooking club time for it! You’ll have to make these recipes again and take some photos of the finished products to share!

    Jax x

  13. Lora @cakeduchess December 9, 2010 at 22:43 #

    This is beautiful Mardi. Your little chefs are so fortunate to have you not only b/c you have amazing talent, but also because you are FABULOUS! What a fantastic project. I wish my daughter could be a part of something so important with you.

  14. Daydreamer Desserts December 9, 2010 at 22:55 #

    Time and time again, I repeat…Les Petits Chefs are so lucky to have such a caring and AMAZING teacher! You ROCK Mardi!

  15. Nancy@acommunaltable December 9, 2010 at 23:04 #

    What a wonderful project for Les Petit Chefs!! I think it is much more meaningful for kids to actually make the food then simply going out to buy it – this is something that they will remember for years to come!!!

    Bravo!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 13, 2010 at 19:30 #

      Yes, I wish they were old enough to go and actually serve the food they cooked – maybe in a couple of years?

  16. penny aka jeroxie December 10, 2010 at 00:56 #

    This is a really good project for your little budding chefs :)

  17. Conor @ Hold the Beef December 12, 2010 at 06:06 #

    Brilliant, this makes my heart happy. Well done, Mardi.

  18. cat December 12, 2010 at 08:50 #

    well done, mardi and petit chefs! they are learning lessons that reach far beyond the kitchen – so good, especially this time of year.

  19. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction December 13, 2010 at 21:01 #

    What an important lesson for kids to learn during the holidays. That’s so great of you to encourage them to help others. I’m sure the dishes were absolutely delicious!

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