Tag Archives: Feed the Future

Talkin’ Hunger: Back to School

How has your summer been?

I wish I could say that the summer was a quiet time for the Foodbank, where we were all sitting around drinking kale smoothies and brushing up on our knowledge of different varieties of beets. In reality, summer was an incredibly busy time for us, especially with our ‘Picnic in the Park’ program, which provided healthy lunches and physical activities to hungry children who get no free school lunches in the summer. This year the program served an incredible 38,000 meals countywide during the program at sites staffed by volunteers. Thank you so much for the heartfelt effort of those who supported this initiative with time and money.

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As we reached the end of the summer, we have compiled our statistics for the number of people served in the last financial year (ending in June) by ourselves and our network of 330 wonderful local nonprofit agencies. We discovered that the number of unduplicated people served has gone up from 104,000 to 144,000. This shows that the challenge of an economic recovery is not really allowing people more money to spend on healthy food. We have no illusions that we have our work cut out for us.

Yet September and the ‘back to school’ season is a time of hope for the Foodbank, with the beginning of a new year of our national award-winning series of ‘Feed the Future’ educational food programs for kids – from preschool to high school.

Our approach is for people to learn from their peers in the community. The ‘experts’ can come in and tell you what you should cook and how you should do it, but far more useful are trusted and respected people from a neighborhood, a street near you, who want to do something to improve the nutritional health of those around them.

That’s where you come in. These programs are all taught by Foodbank supporters: college students, mothers and fathers, the underemployed, professional people giving a couple of hours a month, seniors sharing a lifetime of knowledge. We’re proud of these teachers and what they are doing to help build a new generation of healthy young people in our county.

I hope you’ll consider joining us in one of these educational opportunities. They are as nourishing for the teachers as for the students and great fun.

In the north, contact Darlene Chavez at 805-403-5354.
In the south, contact Melissa Howard at 805-403-2471.

Thanks for all that you are doing to ensure a healthy and hunger-free SB County

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Hot and Spicy Edamame

Edamame are highly nutritious and rich in bioactives (having
activity in the body) compounds called isoflavones which makes
this vegetable a functional food i.e. having a function beyond its
basic nutritional value. Rich in amino acids, it is an economical
source of protein and has the distinction of being the most
complete of all vegetable proteins.

Luckily edamame are delicious and easy to prepare. These
versatile beans have a buttery, nutty flavor and can be eaten hot
or cold as a snack or as an addition to stir-fries, salads, casseroles,
or soups. To prepare fresh, unshelled edamame clean and rinse
pods, add them to a pot of boiling, salted water and cook for
four to five minutes. To eat suck the tender beans out of the pod
as the pod is not edible. Alternatively, you can open the pods
with your fingers to remove the succulent beans. Another way
to prepare shelled edamame is to roast them like peanuts in a
hot oven for ten minutes or until they start to have golden flecks.
Frozen beans can be cooked in a similar fashion to fresh but
require a few more minutes of cooking time.

Edamame are featured in the May lesson of Food Literacy
in Preschool Program (FLIP). FLIP introduces unique fruits and
vegetables to young children, ages 3, 4 and 5 from diverse
backgrounds. FLIP utilizes colorful, fun, age-appropriate
interactive lesson plans that promote both nutritious eating and
physical activity.

Hot and spicy edamame

Ingredients

1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cracked red pepper
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsps salt, divided
1 lb fresh edamame in the pod

Directions

Heat 1 tsp salt, chili powder and pepper flakes in a small skillet
with no oil. Stir until hot and fragrant. Remove from heat and mix
in oregano. Add fresh edamame pods to salted boiling water
and cook for about four to five minutes. Drain and pat dry. Toss
with the chili-oregano mixture and serve warm.
Serves 4, serving size 1 cup