Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thank You from Moms Fighting Hunger


Hunger Action Month, September, has to come to a close, but I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone (moms and non-moms) who got involved with our campaign to help end hunger. I have been honored to collaborate with so many wonderful bloggers and to share the efforts of No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, Oxfam, The Dinner Garden and other organizations through my blog, twitter and Facebook. 

I can proudly share that the collaborative efforts of Moms Fighting Hunger raised well over $500 for local food banks and/or No Kid Hungry through fundraising campaigns and participation in the Lose for Good Tweet-athon. I have no idea how much more we raised through promoting the Dine Out campaign. Given the fact that at most food banks, $1 becomes between $10-$13 in food for families, our $500 translates to between $5,000-$6,500 in food for families in need.
 

I also know that through different fun and innovative efforts by moms across the country, including a Feeding through Reading campaign, a Hunger Heroes Playdate, a Food Pantry Scavenger Hunt and so much more, well over 600 food items have been donated to food pantries around the country -- possibly even 1,000 or more because I received comments from many moms who were inspired by the ideas shared on Pinterest and through our Go Orange Blog Hop to organize their own Read-a-Thons and Food Drives. Many schools are still holding food drives and other individuals have decided to focus their efforts on holiday food campaigns. 

I am including our blog hop here because it includes so many great resources and ideas for teaching kids about hunger and engaging kids around the issue. To stay involved about the issue, please join us through the Moms Fighting Hunger Facebook page.  

As San Antonio Mom Blogs shared in their Hunger Action wrap up post

just because this wonderful month of awareness is at a close does not mean everyone in America is fed and happy and our job here is done. Unfortunately, the issue of hunger in America continues. And so does the fight to eliminate hunger in our own country and, eventually, every country around the world.
So, we would love for you to join us in our continued commitment to ending hunger.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kids Co-Op: Fall is Here - Share+ Play!

The last couple of weeks I have taken a break from the Kids Co-Op with my blog being devoted almost exclusively this month to posts connected with Hunger Action Month. My other great bloggers came together to create Moms Fighting Hunger.

Seeing the creative ways so many have gotten involved has been a highlight of the month. 


Check out our Go Orange Fall List + Linky


In addition to being Hunger Action Month, September also ushers in Fall/Autumn, and I love seeing all of the great seasonal activities everyone has shared through the Kids Co-Op over the last couple of weeks.

We did a Fall Bucket List connecting fun fall activities to ways to help others, and I loved Famiglia and Seoul with their 15 reasons they love Fall. Plus, you will find other great Fall activity ideas and more on the Weekly Kids Co-Op Pinboard.   

I also have a Be the Change Pinboard that brings together all of the great ways that moms have involved their children during Hunger Action Month and features other ideas for engaging ourselves and our families in creating a better world. 

Picking Pumpkins from Famiglia and Seoul


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Melting Hearts

Heart shaped ice cube tray at Ikea = $1


Beets used to make beet juice = $3


Camera We Bought Wild Thing for his birthday = $30
Wild Thing loving the beet juice...

...and being this happy playing (and devouring) his beet ice cubes = priceless.


You might also like:
WW: Simple Toddler Car Wash
WW: Siblings
WW: Snake Sock Puppet

Monday, September 24, 2012

6 Days, 6 Ways + My 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

As Hunger Action Month draws to a close, this final week in September concludes with the 6 Days of Good Campaign hosted by the Kevin Bacon charity Six Degrees. It is a fundraising challenge that allows individuals or groups to create a fundraising page for their favorite charity that is working to end hunger. Then, through the 6 degrees network, you encourage others to donate. At the end of the week, the top pages with the most donations (not the greatest dollar amount) wins challenge grants from Kevin Bacon for their charity. (The first place amount is $6,000). Here is our Moms Fighting Hunger charity page.

In honor of this I am featuring 6 Days + 6 Ways, 1 simple way a day to support hunger awareness and help end hunger.
  • Meatless Monday/Meals on Wheels  - I have 2 options. Go Meatless! (Pretty simple, actually and last Monday I featured 30+ veggie recipes) or support Meals on Wheels. I love this post from Dirtiest Kids in the World about doing just that.
  • Tweeting Tuesday - Spreading awareness and increasing exposure for organizations working to fight hunger really does matter. Last Tuesday, through a major tweeting campaign, Weight Watchers donated money to No Kid Hungry for every tweet using the #loseforgood hashtag.  As of Sept. 17, 5k NKH tweets by 1k tweeters = 10+ million reached and 56 million impressions. Here is a post full of tweets for your consideration.
  • One Dollar Wednesday - #iusedtothink was another hashtag trending for NKH last week. I used to think that one dollar was not much, but I have learned that for many organizations working to end hunger, a one dollar donation can actually become $10-$13 in food for families in need. So, if all you do is donate $1 to No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, The Dinner Garden, Oxfam, or your local food pantry, that is truly something that can make a difference. Or you could donate to Share Our Strength-No Kid Hungry through the Moms Fighting Hunger charity page and help us reach our goal and win a challenge grant from Six Degrees.
  • Thankful Thursday - Make a thank you card (this is a fun one to do with your child) for your local food bank. These people work hard to help others, it is nice for them to hear that their hard work is appreciated. You could also send a quick email of thanks instead.
  • Fundraising Friday - Donate! Donate! Donate! But is about fundraising not just your own donation, so  ask at least one other person to consider donating to an organization working to end hunger as well. Remember, even $1 makes a difference. If you have set up a 6 Degrees fundraising page, focus on a strong push for the end of your fundraising week - or help donate through the Moms Fighting Hunger charity page and encourage others to as well.
  • Share Our Strength Saturday - Share the message/Send a virtual postcard to a Congressional Representative. It is easy to share - on Facebook, go to No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, Moms Fighting Hunger and share their latest status update or just create your own message to spread the word about the importance of ending hunger. 
While we are on the subject of 6 Degrees. I decided to see if I could connect myself to Kevin Bacon in 6 degrees. I am not an actress (typically the game connects through actors only), but I am an independent film producer, so I thought I would give it a whirl. Here it goes:

1st Degree: Ramon Hamilton, Writer/Director of the latest film I produced, SMUGGLED.

2nd Degree: Jay Bluemke, Director and Co-Executive Producer of DOING DAVINCI, a television series that Ramon (who is also my husband) worked on as a Project Facilitator.

3rd Degree: Vivica Fox, as herself in the documentary MY NAPPY ROOTS: A JOURNEY THROUGH BLACK HAIR-TAGE, which Jay Co-Directed and Produced.

4th Degree: Daryl Hannah who was in KILL BILL VOL. 1 with Vivica Fox.

5th Degree: Tom Hanks was in SPLASH with Daryl Hannah.

Tom Hanks is my 6th Degree to Kevin Bacon, since they were in Apollo 13 together. 

Of course, after I figured that out I went on IMDb Pro and discovered this:

1st Degree: Ryan Young, Sound Editor and Recordist on the first feature-length film I produced, THE HIDING.

2nd Degree: Kevin Bacon, who directed Waivers of Extradition, an episode of THE CLOSER, for which Ryan was the ADR Mixer.

Of course, the game traditionally is all about actors, but I had fun putting a twist on it and seeing if I was also separated from Kevin Bacon by a simple 6 Degrees! What is even better, though, is that he and I both share a commitment to end hunger.

You might also like:

Ten for Tuesday: Simple Ways to Help
Moms Fighting Hunger Blog Hop

Friday, September 21, 2012

International Day of Peace

The United Nations has selected Sept. 21st to be the International Day of Peace prompting me to share a passage from one of my favorite books and authors, Thich Nhat Hanh.


Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don't have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don't have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy.

We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
The United Nations states that an importance aspect of the International Day of Peace is encouraging people to think about and work toward a sustainable future, especially through ensuring fair and equal access to resources. Through Hunger Action Month, it was brought to my attention that 1 in 5 children in the U.S. struggles with hunger, 1 in 4 in some areas, like the State of California and almost 50% of children in a county in my home state of TX struggle with hunger. Joining Team No Kid Hungry and helping to spread awareness about the issue of hunger is my small way of working toward a sustainable future, and I have been so inspired by all of the creative ways so many across the nation are getting involved, like the other blogs featured here


 

Simple Ideas for Baby Play at Home #2 - Upcycle!!


Last month, I realized that I primarily write about Wild Thing and feature toddler play ideas, so I decided to feature some of the simple play activities I do with Caterpillar. He recently turned 1 and most of the activities we do can be done with simple items you probably already have at home.  

The post was so popular that I decided to make it a monthly series, so here is my September post on Baby Play - again featuring items you probably have at home. Most of these items are things we typically would recycle, but we have now turned them into toys.

I am taking a brief break today from writing about Hunger and ways to get involved during Hunger Action Month, which has been the focus of all of my posts in September to share these simple, entertaining activities for little ones.


I stuck paintbrushes in the egg carton that he could then put the empty spools on.

He also likes putting milk jug lids and playdough toys in the egg carton.

Another hit is putting the pipe cleaners in an empty milk jug.

He also paints with water.

And loves scooping and splashing water. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Every Can Counts - Hunger Action Month


Check out this video to see how our cans got moving to help others and to see why every can counts. 
Then, get involved with No Kid Hungry and/or Moms Fighting Hunger.

Please check out:
Moms Fighting Hunger Blogs

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ten for Tuesday: Tweeting for No Kid Hungry


UPDATE: A special thanks to everyone who tweeted, shared and encouraged others to tweet today. Moms Fight Hunger. We estimate that at least 131 tweets with #loseforgood were tweeted by the group, which means $131 today alone (translating to more than 1,300 meals). Plus, we also engaged people to do FB shares, likes and repins, as well as new followers for No Kid Hungry. We estimate $150 more dollars from that. 

The tweet campaign that initiated this original post this morning may be done, but tweeting can still help spread awareness, so keep tweeting, and thanks for being involved. 

Original Post: Today one of the easiest things you can do to support No Kid Hungry and help feed children and families in need is tweet! Really, it is that simple. For every tweet using the hashtag #loseforgood and #nokidhungry, Weight Watchers will donate $1 up to $50,000. Please, get your twitter on today!!

$1 can make a big difference - often translating to between $10-13 worth of food, so if you tweet all 10 of these, that is $10, which can have the impact of $100 or more! Consider tweeting with us as part of the Moms Fight Hunger Team! http://teamnokidhungry.org/index.php You can also follow us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MomsFightingHunger


  • For every new Twitter follower @nokidhungry gets today @WeightWatchers will donate $1 up to 50k #loseforgood #nokidhungry #momsfighthunger
  • Pls RT! Today is Lose-A-Palooza. For every tweet mentioning #LoseForGood, @WeightWatchers will donate $1 to #NoKidHungry. #momsfighthunger
  • Hunger affects 16.2 million American kids – that’s 1 in 5. http://nokidhungry.org/ #nokidhungry #loseforgood #momsfighthunger
  • we have a world that is stuffed and starved w/lots of hunger and obesity. you can help. #nokidhungry #loseforgood #momsfighthunger
  • Every child should be guaranteed a nutritious start to the day. http://nokidhungry.org #nokidhungry #momsfighthunger #loseforgood
  • This week Dine Out for #momsfighthunger #nokidhungry  http://join.strength.org/site/PageServer?pagename=GADO_homepage #loseforgood
  • “Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." -JFK #momsfighthunger #loseforgood #nokidhungry
  • Can of Beans-$1, Cup of coffee-$1.5-$2, Specialty drink-$3-$4.  You can help feed a family #momsfighthunger #nokidhungry #loseforgood
  • We R raising the largest generation of kids in hard times since  depression http://bit.ly/UhQeDI #nokidhungry #loseforgood #momsfighthunger  
  • everyone can help. 1 dollar can help provide 10 meals. 1 tweet can help spread awareness #NoKidHungry #momsfighthunger #loseforgood
  • Also check out our No Kid Hungry Blog Hop for more ideas for getting involved!
    Moms Fight Hunger Blog Hop

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Meatless Monday: Eating the Alphabet From A-Z + Virtual Book Club


    If you've been following my blog this month, you'll know that I've committed my blog posts almost exclusively to the issue of Hunger. I knew I wanted to do a Meatless Monday post as part of my Hunger Action Month. Many studies indicate that eating less meat reduces pressure on global resources and helps ensure food access to more people. Oxfam recently endorsed Meatless Monday: "To say it simply, eating less meat helps fight hunger." For many, Meatless Monday continues to grow in popularity because of health and budgetary concerns. 

     
    When Lois Ehlert was the author for the Virtual Book Club during September, I knew it would line up perfectly with Hunger Action Month. Wild Thing's favorite Ehlert book is Eating the Alphabet Fruits and Vegetables from A-Z. I love it because it helped him with learning his letters, especially upper and lower case, and it introduces him to so many different types of fruits and vegetables.

    In sharing this book on my blog, I decided to challenge myself to share vegetarian/meatless meal ideas from A-Z in honor of her book and Hunger Action Month. Here it goes! 


    A is for Asparagus.  I've made a Spring Pizza featuring Asparagus, and also discovered that the spare ends of asparagus are great for creating dinosaurs or even letters -- see how! I like food play ideas that reduce food waste, so rather tossing the inedible parts, we play with them and then compost them.

    Or, since kids love dipping their food, asparagus spears are great because they are delicious when dipped in a butter sauce or ranch, which kids often love. Or, the asparagus itself can become the dip.

    B is for Butternut Squash. In our house, this Butternut Squash Mac N' Cheese always pleases. (FYI: When I made it, I didn't need as much milk as the recipe suggested). B is also for Beets, and beet brownies are delicious. I overcame my skepticism and made some and the whole family devoured them! If you think your kids won't eat beets, you're wrong. Here's another beet recipe from All Done Monkey. One more for the letter B...B is for Broccoli. We made fun Broccoli Parmesan Fritters to look like trees, as a great Fall meal idea that will get kids excited about eating broccoli using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.   


    C is for Carrot Soup from The Pleasantest Thing. I like that the recipe has beans to increase the protein on a meatless meal night. I also want to share this Sweet Corn Ravioli from Creative Cynchronicity, and before I leave the letter C, I have to add C is for Cauliflower and recommend Jamie Oliver's Cauliflower Mac N' Cheese that uses cauliflower in addition to pasta - I really love it. Oh, and Cauliflower is high in protein. I'm tempted to combine the Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Mac N' Cheese. If I do, I'll share it on the blog! 
    D is for Dip Night! (Ok - in the book D is for Dates, but I couldn't center a whole meal around dates). Plus, I loved In Lieu of Preschool's Dip Night dinner, since it incorporates so many vegetables for kids in such a fun way. Please, check it out!! (P.S. It's her favorite dinner). 
    E is for Edamame. Many kids love popping edamame as a fun snack. I love adding it to stirfry, bean soup and many other recipes for added protein, which is what I do in my Mayo-less Egg Salad which uses avocado and sour cream or greek yogurt for creaminess. 
    F is for Fig (and flatbread). Recently, figs came in my farmshare box and they pair so well with goat cheese. I spread goat cheese on toast for breakfast and topped it with figs. I also recommend Flatbread topped with figs -- a nice pizza-ish option. (Spooning figs out as baby food is super easy and babies devour them). 

    is for Green Beans -- The green bean fries I made with Wild Thing were fun to make and yummy. They would pair well with a veggie burger or be a fun addition to a dip night dinner.

    H is for Hummus. Caterpillar (13 months) LOVE hummus. We dip red bell peppers, carrots, pretzels and lots of other things in it. You could do a Middle Eastern night and have Falafel, Pita and Hummus with salad. Plus, hummus can come in many varieties, so you can try at lots of different types to keep it interesting.
    I is for Irish Mashed Potatoes, which have green onions in them and are creamy and delicious. This Irish Mashed Potato recipe uses Kale, which is great because Kale is packed full of nutrients, including protein.
    J is for Jalapenos and Jicama, which means you could make a great Mexican-inspired vegetarian dinner and include Jalapeno Poppers and/or Jicama chips (or incorporate Jicama into your dip night dinner). The poppers might be hot for little ones, so use your discretion. Many moms have told me that Rice and Beans work well for their little ones for Meatless Meals, and these sides would compliment a dinner of Rice and Beans perfectly. 
    K is for Kale. Reminder, Kale is a killer nutrient and can be made in really kid-friendly ways, such as Kale Chips or Kale Pizza. Plus, there's even a variety of Kale called Dinosaur Kale, so get your dinosaur-loving child involved with picking out this variety of Kale and cooking it.
    L is for Leeks. Potato-Leek Soup is a simple and delicious option, especially for a cold winter night. Plus, it's very budget friendly.  
    M is for Mushrooms. Portabello Mushrooms are our favorite and often a hit with many meat eaters for their earthy quality. I love to sautee them in a pan with red wine and balsamic vinegar, but also recommend Portabello Mushroom Pasta, Pizza and Fajitas -- just not at the same time! 
    N is for No-Noodle Lasagna. The kids won't even notice the noodles are missing. Plus, they'll be getting lots of other veggies with this recipe that uses Zucchini in place of noodles.  
    O is for Onions. I'm recommending French Onion Soup - another budget friendly, warm and yummy option for a cold winter night. With all that gooey cheese on top, lots of kids will dig in. Or, there's always onion rings and veggie burgers.  
     P is for Peas. We did a P is for Peas post in the Spring with Ehlert's Eating the Alphabet book and had so much fun learning about the letter and the vegetable -- then eating it. Also, in the spirit of Fall, I'm recommending Pumpkin Pancakes - for breakfast or dinner because who doesn't love breakfast for dinner!

    Q is for Quinoa. Quinoa is an amazing seed, which functions like a grain in recipes. It's really healthy, yummy and versatile. I have so many favorite quinoa recipes, but will share the most kid-friendly one here, which is The Curvy Carrot's Quinoa Bites. I made them for a party and they disappeared very quickly. Alternately, use quinoa in place of rice or as a grain to make a hearty grain-based salad. I even cook my quinoa in my rice cooker.
    R is for Roasted Vegetables, especially great for winter vegetables and root vegetables. Make a dinner of roasted vegetables drizzled with olive oil or topped with a pat of butter or roast them first and puree for a delicious soup. You could also add roasted vegetables to pasta.
    S is for Spinach, another vegetable extremely high in protein and other nutrients. I love this Spesto from Kitchen Counter Chronicles that uses Spinach instead of Basil to make pesto. I often toss spinach on pizza, in tomato sauce for pasta or add it to my alfredo sauce. I've even seen Spinach-Artichoke Mac N'Cheese and love Spinach Quesadillas.

    T is for Tomatoes: pasta with tomato sauce, cheese or veggie pizza, or rice and beans topped with fresh tomato salsa. These options make Meatless Monday simple. The tomato pasta pictured here is a no-cook pasta sauce: diced tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and rich oil, such as olive or grapeseed. Mix these together and let the flavors marry (I often throw the ingredients together in the morning to add to the pasta at night). I don't remember where I saw this recipe, but wish I could credit them because it quickly became a favorite. If you think the basil might be much for your kids, then just leave it out or only add a little.
    U is for Underground Vegetable Stew - pick your favorite root vegetables to toss in your crock pot with veggie broth. You can add lentils to bump up the protein value. Suggested spices include: paprika, cumin and oregano. Kids can help make this stew and learn about the different ways vegetables grow.
    V is for Vegetable Lasagna. Mama Smiles shared this recipe, which is a favorite for her family. I also like this Vegetarian Lasagna with Red Lentils from Life At The Zoo.
    W  is for Watermelon -- according to my mother, watermelon can be a meal. She LOVES it. She says pair it with a favorite movie, popcorn and cheese, and you've got dinner covered. (Popcorn with cheese and fruit was the Sunday Night Supper at our house, since Sunday lunches were big meals.   
    X is for X-Men Grilled Cheese - okay, so I had to get creative with this one, but I also had to include Grilled Cheese on a list of kid-friendly, vegetarian meals. You could add tomatoes, spinach, avocado or caramelized onions to the grilled cheese to increase the nutritional value. Then place carrots, bell peppers or asparagus on top of the sandwich in the shape of an X for presentation. Excellent.
    Y is for Yellow Squash, which works well in pasta sauce, mixed in with your rice and beans or even as a taco stuffing (with other squash varieties and corn). Also, try yellow squash chips.
    Z is for Zucchini. I've already shared the No-Noodle Lasagna, but other Zucchini dishes that many mom's recommend include: zucchini tots, zucchini parmesan and zucchini gratin.

    I also want to share Living Montessori's Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner Post and 3 Vegetarian Cookbooks recommended by the mom over at Curly Birds, whose whole family is vegetarian. The books are Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert, Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair and Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. I also recommend The Family Dinner by Laurie David and Kirsten Uhrenholdt, which explains why their family embraced Meatless Mondays and has great recipes and tips for creating a great family dinner experience.

    P.S. Seasonal/local food also makes a difference in supporting mindful eating and sustainable food.


    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Exploring Great Artists: Andy Warhol + Pop Art

    Since I was hosting a canned food drive at my local Farmer's Market/Art Walk, I decided to also have an art activity for kids. Andy Warhol inspired me, and I realized he was the perfect artist for this month's Kids Get Arty activity creating soup can color sheets so that kids could create their own Andy Warhol-inspired soup can pop art. One of my favorite moments from the event was this dad who joined his sons in coloring and got really into creating the perfect Pop Art masterpiece. 

    The Soup Can Pop Art color activity is a simple way to introduce young kids to Andy Warhol, plus here's some other Andy Warhol activities that a very talented artist and after-school instructor friend of mine does with her students (primarily 2nd graders). I love how she uses these activities to introduce students not only to Andy Warhol, but also to explore advertising and to learn about other famous individuals, such as Beethoven. 



    For her advertising lesson, she provides students with paper, a black artist’s pen and crayons and talks with her students about how advertisers use various images to make their products more attractive. She then shares with them Andy Warhol's efforts to comment on advertising with his Soup Can art display and shows them photos of his work. Then, the students draw and color their own soup cans. 

    Another lesson she does is discuss the way that Andy Warhol used bright colors to re-create famous people and showed them samples of his art work. Then, she provided students with a Black and White photocopy of Beethoven for them to accent with their own vibrant colors. 

    Finally, she also uses Andy Warhol to encourage students to create their own Pop Art Self-Portraits, which I absolutely love. 

    I really hope all of these Andy Warhol ideas get you inspired and here's a great book for kids about Warhol too. Enjoy discovering and exploring Pop Art!

      

    Another great Pop Art book I recently discovered through No Time for Flashcards with her great post of 21 Picture Books on Art.


    Kids Get Arty is a great series hosted and created by Red Ted Art. I love participating in it every two months. Also, September is Hunger Action Month so please consider donating canned goods to your local food pantry. Your children could even decorate the cans, wrapping them in Pop Art inspired paper first! These kids in the Every Can Counts video decorated their cans and they look great. (P.S. We linked this post up at Tuesday Tots!)


    You might also like:
    Andy Warhol Pop Art Soup Cans
    Exploring Great Artists: Van Gogh

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Ten for Tuesday: Blogs I Love for Hunger Action Month


    I am pleased to be joining forces with other Kid-Friendly Bloggers (as well as some food bloggers and others) to spread awareness and motivate involvement during Hunger Action Month. 

    I thought I would take the opportunity of this week's Ten for Tuesday post to share ten of my favorite "go orange" or hunger action-related blogs from the Moms Fighting Hunger group.

    So many posts have inspired me, as have messages from moms and individuals from across the country who saw a pin or read a post and are now getting involved. I hope these posts inspire you too!   
    • Kids Stuff World - To say this blogger is a driving force behind Moms Fighting Hunger would be an understatement. Plus, she and I worked together to make this super cute Every Can Counts video.
    • Curly Birds - She's had more than 1 post this month that I love, but this recent post with clear steps on How to Host a Food Drive informs and inspires all at once.
    • Childhood Beckons - The Feeding Through Reading project that she came up with for her son is simply brilliant. He's motivated and excited to read and to help others. That is a perfect combo.
    • Dirtiest Kid in the World has written a 3-part series of posts featuring non-profits that help fight hunger. 
    • Raising Figure Skaters - Deb Chitwood created a Twibbon image for FB profiles and free printables to help spread the word and fight hunger. 
    • Red, White & Grew offers a great idea for donating a peanut butter alternative to food banks for struggling families with children that have peanut allergies, something I honestly had never considered. 
    • The Pleasantest Thing - I appreciated this thoughtful post on how to talk to a child (even as young as 4) about hunger.
    • JDaniel4's Mom - She used it as an opportunity to do a super market scavenger hunt with her son based on the food pantry's needs. What moved me the most about her post was the bare shelves at her local pantry, which serve as a reminder of how important our donations are.
    • Mama Smiles - I shared this blogger's Small Hands Creating Hope project earlier this year to help children with cancer and have appreciated, once again, her blog engagement make a difference and help others. 
    • Crayon Freckles - This is another blogger who often uses her blog to help others, recently creating an e-Book to raise money for a School Supply Fund Drive for the Boys & Girls Club. She was a co-host for our Go Orange Blog Hop, which offers lots of other links and ideas for fighting hunger, including more blog posts I really love.
    You can also find all of these posts and all of the other ladies from Moms Fighting Hunger pinned to my Be the Change Board.

    You might also like:
    Photos from our Food Drive
    Teaching Community Service
    DIY: Baby Food Recipes & Tips

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

    Silent Sunday: Photos from our Food Drive

    We joined Team No Kid Hungry and went orange with a booth at a local Farmer's Market to collect food for the two local food pantries in our community and to spread awareness.

    Within the first 10 minutes, our initial donations inspired us to create 3 towers like this.
    Caterpillar went orange too and kept me company.
    A friend did face painting...
    ...and hand painting. 

    Later, Caterpillar expresses his feelings about children going hungry.
    We inspired this teacher to go orange and do a lesson on hunger awareness in her classroom. Another woman got inspired and went to the nearest grocery store and filled up two bags with rice and beans -- and so did her friends.
    We had a good afternoon. Many people urged us to do another drive this month, so I think we just might!
    I wish I had photos of the end result, but it was too dark to get any at the event at the end of the night. I took photos at home the next day of all the food in the trunk of the car, but my computer doesn't want to read the camera. The trunk was full, but I think we can do even better next time. In addition to collecting food, we gave out a lot of information to invite people to Join Team No Kid Hungry!

    Please share what you've been doing for Hunger Action Month in the comments below or at FB/TheGoodLongRoad and follow all of the efforts of various bloggers at FB/MomsFightingHunger. Remember Every Can Counts!!