This being a food blog, we're all the time telling you about good things to eat and food we love as well as keeping you informed about new goodies to try in Central Arkansas, but for many people, food isn't an enjoyable luxury — it's something they struggle to get enough of on a daily basis. According to a study published in September 2011 by the USDA, nearly 6.7 million households in the United States were severely food insecure — which means that these households were having to skip meals and go hungry due to not having enough food. Those numbers come from 2010 and represent an increase of 2 million households since the 2007 beginning of the current economic downturn. "Households," of course, includes children, which means that the number of kids going without food is has increased significantly in the last five years.
There are organizations out there trying to help with the problem, and one of my favorite is Share Our Strength, a national non-profit organization that uses its resources to connect food insecure families with nutritious food. They do this by getting private companies involved with addressing community needs, providing grants to local organizations that combat hunger, and by increasing education about where to find affordable, nutritious food. Share Our Strength is near and dear to our local food blogging community, and for the last two years, Christie Ison of Fancy Pants Foodie has organized a food blogger bake sale to raise money for Share Our Strength's "No Kid Hungry" campaign.
With that in mind, I'd love to encourage all of you to take a look at the No Kid Hungry Dinner that's being held July 31st at The Oxford American on South Main. The dinner will be hosted by Chef Donnie Ferneau of Rocket 21 and will feature the talents of Brian DeLoney of Maddie's Place, and Kelli Marks of Sweet Love Bakery. There will be a couple of guys familiar to "Top Chef" fans on hand, too, John Currence of Oxford, Mississippi's City Grocery and Marcel Vigneron of Modern Global Tasting, Inc.
Table sponsorships for the event are $1500, and individual tickets can be purchased for $150. Cocktails will be served starting at 6pm, with a full multi-course dinner starting at 7pm. This is sure to be a unique dining experience for our area, and you can enjoy your meal knowing that you're helping bring food to a hungry child.