A Note from the Chef
The Food Channel.com names food and philanthropy as one of the top 10 trends in 2009. Food—a daily essential for each and every one of us—is a natural link for philanthropic efforts. From the $1 donation at the supermarket checkout line to more and more charities tied to food purchases, this is a trend that will only grow in a tough economy.
I saw this trend come alive recently when I attended the Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. Beyond the endless rows of salsas, spreads, dips and chips was an obvious willingness to participate in something greater than exposure for their various products. What I found most ironic was the link between what was essential non-essential (more packaged food) to something we all need—a helping hand.
I’ve always cherished the bond that food creates between people. Whether we enjoy cooking or just eating, people have always celebrated their joys and shared their hardships around food. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we’re from or even how old we are. When we sit together around a table of food, we all know what to do. Hunger speaks to all of us.
Good food is the great equalizer. Like clean air and water, it is essential to our well-being. With over 1500 domestic exhibitors and 40 special pavilions representing more than 70 countries and territories, the passion that went into their products was universal and almost as palatable as the food samples available down every aisle. And after only a few nibbles I quickly knew that unfortunately, as much as I would have liked to taste everything, I would have to pass most offerings by. What I was able to take in however was a clear message that more and more food producers and growers were awakening to the fact that to give is to get. Philanthropic associations between vendor and charitable organizations, or other worthy causes, were everywhere. And this clear realization was the nourishment I truly needed.