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14 December 2010

gluten-free ginger-lemon bars

making lemon bars

I spent about 15 minutes this morning fretting that this photograph wasn't good enough.

It's messy. You can't see the ooze on the cookies. The top cracked — I ran out of AP flour before I needed 46 grams of it, so I just used sweet rice flour. Don't do that anymore, Shauna. Too starchy. It doesn't hold together the same way. I wanted to hide that. I should have cleaned the counter if I was going to show this. Man, I forgot to clean out the food processor -- oh right, we sat down to breakfast, and then Lu spilled her entire cup of apple juice, and we didn't have any clean kitchen towels so I had to use a bath towel. I hope I remember to wash those before her bath tonight. I wanted a better picture of these.

And then I stopped being so silly and selfish and put up the picture. You know why?

A hungry kid wouldn't give a shit about any of that. He would be thrilled to have these messy ginger-lemon bars. She would be grateful to have something to eat.

Did you know that, according to the great organization Share Our Strength (as well as other governmental and non-profit agencies), more than 17 million American kids are going to bed hungry. Tonight. And most nights. When I think of not having enough food to give Lu that I have to put her to bed with her stomach stretched open, and her possibly crying herself to sleep, I want to vomit. I cannot handle the thought of her suffering that way. Do you how many parents are going to bed feeling horrible about themselves, as well as hungry?

People, this isn't a political issue. It's a food issue. It's a children's issue. It's a human issue.

(If you want a better understanding of what is happening and how, please read this collection of articles on Understanding Childhood Hunger.)

I know. Like me, you've heard these statistics. And we feel bad for a few minutes, maybe even really bad, then we move on. If you haven't been truly hungry before, this might feel abstract.

My friend Brooke just published a courageous piece, an essay about being a hungry kid, and the shame shame shame that went with it. Read it. We need to make this real if we're going to feed these more than 17 million kids.

By the way, that's 1 in 4 kids in the United States going to bed hungry. 1 in 4.

Also, it's December, when we're all thinking about cookies and bounty and candy canes and more food and complaining that we'll miss out on some of the feasts because we can't eat gluten or eggs or dairy or something else that feels essential to make new memories. It's also December, when the temperatures in places like Minnesota are reaching -33 degrees. Imagine going to bed hungry in that weather.

We have to do something about this.

What can we do? Plenty.

Our friend Carol is having an incredible auction on her website, Alinea at Home. She set up a special Alinea at Home Share Our Strength campaign page, where you can donate. She has dozens of great prizes you can win if you donate. (We're honored that our cookbook is one of them.) Donate and win? Come on.

You can buy a copy of Creating a Meal You'll Love: Notable Chefs and Food Writers on Their Unforgettable Dining Experiences, a warm, lovely collection of essays about memorable meals. I'm honored to be in there, along with people like people like Susur Lee, Karen Coates, Nick Malgieri, Mimi Sheraton, and Marcus Samuelsson. (How did I land in this group?) Every essay is filled with sensory details that will make you hungry. And since the royalties for the book are all going to Share Our Strength, you can help someone else who is hungry by reading.

Or, we can give directly to Share Our Strength, which has no other mission than trying to feed kids.

It can be more local than any of those options.

Someone in your community is hungry. If it's 1 out of 4 kids going hungry, there's no way it skipped your town. There must be a food bank, a place to donate, a neighbor who looks a little weary who could use some home-baked food. We're in this together.

We're working at the island food bank for the holiday season. We may be busy this year, but we're not too busy to help.

I hope this hasn't seemed like preaching. Some of you may be skipping right to the cookie recipe instead of reading this. I hope it's not most of you.

See, we have food in our house. You probably do too. We have enough food in our homes to play with it, take photographs of it, write about it, and selfishly worry that it all doesn't look good enough.

I hope you let it all be messy and find a way to spend your time giving instead. I sure wish I could give these lemon bars to a hungry kid.

We would like to give more with this post.

Would you like to win a copy of our cookbook? There's plenty in there that could feed hungry neighbors well.

We're also giving away 3 copies of Creating a Meal You'll Love: Notable Chefs and Food Writers on Their Unforgettable Dining Experiences, as well as a copy of The Greyston Bakery Cookbook: More Than 80 Recipes to Inspire the Way You Cook and Live.

Simply leave a comment about hunger. Were you a hungry kid? If so, sharing your story here might help others to make this more real. Have you fed hungry kids? Let us know about your experience. How do you give this time of the year? Let us know.

ginger-lemon bars I

GLUTEN-FREE GINGER-LEMON BARS, adapted from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook: More Than 80 Recipes to Inspire the Way You Cook and Live

These lemon bars come from a very good baking book, one you probably don't know at all. Written by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan (now of the always-informative website The Kitchn), this baking book offers tried and tested recipes for cakes, cookies, bars, and tarts from the Greyston Bakery. Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York was founded by Zen Buddhist teacher Bernie Glassman in 1982. Its mission? To hire homeless and unemployed folks and give them job training and a career.

Have you ever eaten a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream with brownies or cookie dough? You've eaten baked goods from Greyston. (And of course, I'm not eating those anymore. However, Greyston Bakery has a great line of gluten-free baked goods for you to eat too.)

Sarah Kate worked at Greyston for a few years as the director of the Community Garden Project for the Greyston Foundation. As she writes, "The ethics I absorbed during my time at Greyston inform my work." I'm sure they do.

Oh, did I forget to mention these ginger-lemon bars? And the fact that they have just the right amount of mouth-puckering tartness to make lemon bar fans happy? Or that when Danny tasted one this morning for the first time, there was total silence, then a quiet "Oh my god." Yes.

Good people make good food, it seems. These lemon bars are keepers.

for the crust
280 grams all-purpose flour mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 US sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons ice cold water

for the topping
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
46 grams all-purpose flour mix
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Find a 9 x 13 baking pan in your cupboard. Grease it with the oil or butter of your choice. Lay down a large piece of parchment paper, large enough to leave 1 inch of paper hanging over the two long sides.

Making the crust. Pull out the food processor and attach the blade. Combine the flour, xanthan gum, guar gum, brown sugar, powdered sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse them together to aerate the flour. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.

Whisk together the egg and water. With the food processor running, pour the eggy water into the bowl. Pulse only until the mixture begins to hold together. Stop the food processor and pinch the dough between your fingers. If it holds together, you are done. Err on the side of the dough being a bit too dry than too wet.

Baking the crust. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press it down evenly. (You can do this with a piece of plastic wrap between you and top, if you wish.) Bake until the top is slightly golden and starting to set, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 300°.

Making the topping. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon juice, flour, sugar, and lemon zest, then whisk them all together. Pour the topping over the crust. Put the pan back in the oven and bake until the top has set firm, about 30 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool completely. When there is not a hint of warmth to the lemon bars, lift the parchment paper from the pan by grabbing all four corners. The lemon bars will come with you. Put the parchment paper onto a cutting board and cut the delightful dessert into bars.

Dust the lemon bars with powdered sugar before you serve.

(These will keep for 3 days. Yeah right. Like they are going to last that long!)

Makes 2 dozen.


At 10:22 PM, Blogger Heidi said...

wow - these look heavenly!! oozy and delicious. Lovely post. and lovely lemon bars! I have never suffered like so many do. I am very fortunate. Donating is a fabulous idea. Think twice about excessive, unnecessary spending. It doesnt cost a lot of money to show people you love them.
Heidi xo

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

There are a lot of food drives going on right now in so many schools and day cares. It's the easiest thing in the world to donate a bag full of goods, canned and packaged food.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger divinacucina said...

once again shauna, you have hit home!
we priviledged people that work in food and with food, first and formost need to think about those without.

in some way- we can all help!

if not all year long- at least now!

At 11:04 PM, Blogger moonsword said...

oh wow, such a great's too easy to forget those who don't have enough amidst the holiday media bullhorns roaring "get more, more, more".
I participate in the local Empty Bowls event in our city. Every October hundreds of artists donate handmade bowls and dozens of chefs volunteer to cook. The public is invited to make a minimum donation of $20 in exchange for some really delicious soup and a bowl to be taken home as a reminder that someone's bowl is always empty.
It's super fun and a great way to give!
I also donate to my favorite animal sanctuary...we can't forget them either!

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for sharing the facts about childhood hunger. I've heard about it many times and as you said, I felt bad for a while, then moved on. After reading your post, I can't help my tears. We got to be grateful of what we have. I know I'm very fortunate that I wasn't one of the hungry kid when I was young. Now I'm a mother of 2 and I can't imagine my kids would have to go to bed hungry and cold. Thanks for your encouragement and suggestions on how to help and make this world a better place. I'll share your blog with my friends. Happy holidays to you and your family!

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Me said...

... this time of the year, helping to collect food for the local Food Bank - especially gluten-free items.
... just found Meyer lemons at the local grocery store to make ginger lemon bars!
... get "The Kitchn" newsletter and would love "The Greyston Bakery".

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I was never hungry to the point of starvation, but there was a time in my childhood when money was real tight. There were a lot of quick pasta salad suppers. And canned tuna. Lots of tuna. Tuna in the pasta, Tuna sandwich. Food was very monotonous for a while.

But I was still fed, and I still like tuna, so aside from the obviously high content of gluten I was getting at the time (my eczema breakouts spiked like crazy and it took me a few years to finally "cure" it) no real harm was done.

For Christmas, one of our local grocery stores has a huge Christmas tree with tags strung all over it. They say things like, "Jane. Girl. Three years old. First wish, Dolly. Second wish, sweets" You grab a tag and take the responsibility of buying gifts for the child. Last year, I was almost in tears when a 13 year old girls Christmas present wish was to get toiletries. A neccesity in my life, is a rare gift for these children.

At 1:34 AM, Blogger Nicola said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post.

At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know what? I must be that hungry kid right now; I was nothing but thrilled by the photo, and I am dreaming of how good the lemony would smelled around here now, but I am just too ill to manage to bake anything today.
it also understates my opinion on the fact that the best cakes and sweets (my favourites at least!) are those looking messiest :)
- my best friend's chaos of a cheese cake, my flatmate's bread&butter pudding, my little sister's stickymessy brownies, my ex-boyfriend's superbreakfast, and my own caramels, to mention a few...!

I'll try these when survived the flu, for sure!


At 2:21 AM, Blogger life, in recipes said...

Wow, Shauna - thank you for this post. Your words are beautiful.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Valerie said...

I am a special education teacher in a low income school. It breaks my heart that my students look forward to their FUEL bags each Friday. I see these hungry children everyday, 1 in 4 doesn't count for my school. I would say 2 in 4. Each year my daughter and I do the Great American Bake Sale for Share our Strengths. People are so generous. I can not wait to make some of these cookies for our bake sale.

I love your site and so glad I found it. I have changed to Gluten free after years of trying to find the answer to my problems. The first time I feel better! Thank you for the resource.

At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to do foster care and every foster kid we had was a hungry kid - ravenous and obsessive about their food. Even after a year and a half with us, where enough good food was never an issue, one of our kiddos would inhale and binge to the point of puking, if given the opportunity. (He was only 2.) Hunger has a multitude of effects beyond just being hungry....

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Candy said...

I wasn't a hungry kid in the sense that there was no food. I just didn't like food and was a picky eater. My kids never went hungry. Fast forward 35 years and my theory on raising kids has changed to "keep them more poor, more tired, more hungry." Appreciation for what one has is priceless. Realization of what one needs to give is necessary. Can't wait to try these lemon bars!

At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Shauna, Chef, and lil' Lu:

This recipe (and really, this movement) brought back a memory I'd like to share.

In high school I rode the bus with a girl named "AJ". She lived in an apartment with her sister, her mom, and I believe her stepfather. She was tall, mousy but friendly, and since we also shared the same lunch period, became friends.

I knew she received a free lunch at school, as a lot of students in Northern VA did. I didn't know how bad it was for her though, until she began to cry one day. Apparently, the night before her mom had to choose who would be eating dinner, AJ or her little sister. And it was her sister's turn. This shocked the sophomore 16 year-old me, and the only thing I felt I could do was comfort her. Though it wasn't me, child services were called and she and her sister were removed from the house into foster care. She attended another high school in the district but we never spoke again.

Since "Share our table", I find myself thinking about AJ and hope she is happier and better off. Now that I am a senior in college and a major in conflict resolution, I now have the confidence and skills to help out where I am needed. I hope this movement continues throughout the year instead of the Christmas season, and I hope I am strong enough to do my part.

Happy Holidays,

At 4:57 AM, Blogger MK French said...

The summer after my freshman year in college I worked for a gleaning agency out of one of the poorer neighborhoods in downtown Dallas, Texas. I realized then that there are people who take the vegetables that aren't 'good' enough to sell and they give thanks to have them.

When I went back to school that August and my sorority handed me my bill for the year - I resigned. I could not, in good faith, hand over my entire summer's earnings for a year's worth of being involved in a greek organization. Not when I knew how many meals it could have purchased.

Now, years later, I have a large, sophisticated food bank as one of my clients. I look at what they do every day and I am... unspeakably proud to be even a small part of it.

As a new 'gluten-free girl' myself, I am a bit embarassed to admit how frustrated I have been by missed Holiday cookies and changing traditions this year. Thank you for putting my focus back where it belongs - on those who miss out everyday, all year long.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger zonecoach said...

Those lemon bars look awesome. Hopefully i can get my gf to like them. She's not a big fan of lemon but I am. I personally can't imagine being hungry and feel for those who have to do without.

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you for the recipes...they have been a great addition to our simple list of things we love.
Thank you also for asking about a hungry childhood.....Mine was not so bad, we had some food, no choices. It was beans or potatoes. Some days we had bread. We had free lunch at school so if we didn't eat it was our fault. I always ate.It was still a scary time for a kid, though. Not knowing IF there would be beans. I thank God for every thing I learned about being a child of a poor in money family. You are only as poor as you think you are. We had plenty in laughter and love.
As a family we donate all year long, not just in winter, as hunger has no link to seasons.
Thank you for the blessing that your blog is to our celiac life.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Caneel said...

Oh. How. Yummy. I can't wait to try them! :)

At 5:31 AM, Blogger Caneel said...

And I just went back and read more of your post. Your comments on the photo are the exact same kind of things I think when I post a photo. Not only did I think your photo was gorgeous, I agree with you 100%. We have so much to be thankful and so many who don't have anything. In addition to local food banks, local clothing drives and charity donations here in the United States, people can also purchase things like goats through places like World Vision. A goat can provide milk to a starving family and they can also sell the milk and cheese from it in a market. Chickens can provide eggs to eat as well as sell. The list goes on. If we would all help with our local drives and then donate some to larger organizations, imagine how much better things could be! Thanks for this post and the reminder to step outside our world.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

This post is probably the best post of the year! I am not in the category of those who scrolled to the recipe skipping what I always consider the best part of your post. Yes, the recipes are compelling but I love your writing more and you have captured a real world wide problem. A problem, no matter what our political views, we can all agree should be addressed. The way we throw money around in this country, this sickens me and each of us should be ashamed if we fail to do at least one thing a year to temper hunger. As for myself, I stopped giving all gifts 20 years ago, stopped, nobody gets presents at Christmas, birthdays or any other occasion for that matter. Instead I make donations to organizations that I support, organizations that feed people, young and old. In fact, I just said to my partner last evening, it is time to shore up our finances and get our end of the year donations in order. It isn't just about the money either. Every year we gather up our young nieces and nephews and take a trip to a grocery store, load up the cart and head to a food shelf. They get to see first hand, how food shelves operate. I know how fortunate I am and I know how little it take to have an impact. No matter how small the gift, it will be huge to someone who receives it because it will be more than they would have otherwise had.

At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up very poor in New England and will never forget the kindness of strangers feeding our family in the soup kitchen and free sandwiches in the park when school was out in the summer. When I was a young mother I suddenly found myself in a shelter with my toddler one night after the kitchen had closed. I remember dropping the one can of soup I had packed from what was left in my cupboard at home on the floor in the shelter kitchen as I was carrying it and her to the table after I had heated it up. Seeing it spilled on the floor was made more horrifying by the fact that the kitchen was closed for the night and I had to put my child to bed hungry and crying for something to eat. Years later I can still remember that terrible feeling and that is why we still donate to that food bank.

At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't a hungry kid necessarily, we had food and luckily grandparents down the road who helped out often and shared their garden harvest, but we were on assistance. Single mom with three kids. I honestly don't know how she did it. This post really touched my heart. A reminder to GIVE this holiday season, and any time of year, but also a reminder to be grateful that I wasn't quite one of the hungry kids.

And we are blessed to have blogs and plenty of food to share and take pictures of. But we also have children, our neighbors perhaps, who are going hungry. I needed this reminder, thank you.

I recently found out that the food banks in our area have several people who come in asking for gluten free options. (as we know, very few processed foods that sit on shelves are gluten free) So I'm going to do a gluten-free food drive after the holidays. When people need to keep giving.

(and the picture is perfect)

At 6:08 AM, Blogger LoLo said...

Thank you, Shauna, for remembering those who have so little. I think I take photos of my food sometimes because I don't want it to go away. There was a long stretch when we were one of those families that didn't have much. We looked to others to help us. My parents were always faithful to make sure we had food in our bellies, even if it meant not much for them. I even remember my dad picking up trash on construction sites to help get a little money and my mom taking "throw outs" from a local school cafeteria to help put food in the pantry and fridge. With the help of family and friends, local food banks,and the fact that both my folks were hard working, combined with a LOT of love, is what saw us through. Even the simple gift of a friend dropping off enough ingredients to make cookies for Christmas when we had nothing was a true gift of love. So little can mean so much. Whenever I create a feast, I am so very thankful for all we have and taking a photo of it is a great way to further that treasure of remembrance and thankfulness. So, your lemon bars are beautiful even in their messiness. Ooey-gooey made in a mood of love and then shared with all of us. Your post just went a step further to truly remind us to step out and do more. Thank you.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger April said...

I will never forget the lesson taught to me when I visited a small Tzotzil village in Southern Mexico. The people gave me their bed while they slept on cement floor. They made our group chicken soup, and when I looked over at their bowls, they were eating only broth - and not complaining about it! How many times have I been too afraid to share my best with others? I never go to bed hungry, so what would it take for me to give of my surplus to others? I hope the lesson of radical hospitality in Mexico can propel me to give.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Sirena said...

Wow, Shauna - way to shine the holiday spotlight on an issue that really hits us all here at home. It's one thing to think about the conditions our fellow humans live in in "third world" nations - but this is all too common all over our own bountiful country. I couldn't imagine going to bed hungry, cold, and exhausted from hiding my shame from classmates and teachers. Growing up in a small town in Mexico, this was an everyday reality for so many of the kids I went to school with.
We're having a food drive at my work, and as always, your post has inspired me to seek out to find another way to lend a hand. That's what the best writing does - moves you from the page to the street, with the power of the written word. Thanks Shauna!

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Ashlie and Alfred said...

What a wonderful post! This year we decided to forgo gift giving and donate generously to a number of charities instead. One of our favorites is Heifer International, their efforts have contributed to ending hunger, as well as, increasing educational opportunties and promoting gender equality. It just seemed crazy to fret over what to get our many friends and family members who literally have EVERYTHING, when so many people don't even have the basic necessities of life! Happy Holidays and thank you for great recipes and musings :).

At 6:38 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

Amazing words Shauna. Thank you for posting your non perfect (but perfect in its flaws!!) photo and for using the energy that could've been spent fretting over the imperfections to shed light on the hunger problem with the world's children. And yes, they are in our neighborhoods. . . and so I do what I can to bake gluten, sometimes dairy, and often sugar free breads, biscotti, gingerbread, granola, cookies and other things that lend some cheer and spread warm love through the community. . . sharing with friends that have families, who may or may not be able to eat those things normally and whose parents might not have the time to spend making them food from scratch.

I buy CSA's and keep my purchases local to insure that our communities remain strong and supported. . . and think of ways to use that local bounty to feed those around me.

And rather than mope about what I can't eat, I feel incredibly lucky that I have food and can buy local, organic and gluten free ingredients. . . and delight in the knowledge that I can eat a lot less and give a lot more and be happy beyond imagination.
. . . how about some cookbooks to help me spread the cheer?!?!


At 6:40 AM, Blogger Adrienne * Tough City Writer said...

I was lucky/blessed not to be a hungry child. My children are not hungry, they live in a stable, loving home and we sit down to dinner together. But many children - possibly a third at our local school - are hungry. It is a problem in our community which, ironically, is a "famous" resort community. What do I do? I stand up for them — and our school's hot lunch program — when people complain that "irresponsible parents" are not taking care of their own children. Children need to be fed, regardless of the reason. I also am starting to work with local groups as we aim for better food security for all of us in our small community however I can - community gardens, locally sourced food with good access FOR ALL to both. Thanks for your timely words today.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kids have done neighborhood food drives and I've cooked at our local shelter through our church. Hunger is such a horrible thing for anyone to face, and is especially hard to witness in children, no child should ever have to go hungry. Especially in today's slow economy, there is a huge need. I was so happy to participate with fellow bloggers in the No Kids Hungry campaign to raise awareness. Thank you sharing with us all that you've done.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Every year my family--that's the extended family--pool together & choose two charities/causes/organizations to donate too, rather than exchanging gifts with each other, we all put money towards the cause we select & give a group donation. It's still a small drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps in some way. I also try to give throughout the year as I can and as needs arise. It's important!

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Wendy K said...

I do so enjoy your posts - you rarely fail to get me thinking about things I don't necessarily "want" to confront. I am ashamed to say I'm one of "those" who finds it easier to complain about people who have too much than express my concern for those who don't have enough. Thinking about my own little boy going to bed hungry hit right at my heart; I will look today at the links you posted and for something local to do to help a hungry child. Thank you for the reminder of what the real spirit of Christmas is about.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Linda said...

Fret not. This picture invites diving face first into the lusciousness. Yes, it's that seductive!

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Years ago as a substitute teacher I was in a first or second grade classroom. A child told me she hadn't had any breakfast and she was hungry. When I questioned her about why she hadn't eaten, she said there was cereal but all the dishes were in the sink with cockroaches on them. Luckily I had a banana with me, so I could at least give her something. But I was only there one day. What about her other hungry mornings?

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have seen several posts about SOS but yours was the first that, for some reason, made me take the time to really explore their website.

I have now signed up as a Cooking Matters volunteer and a Shopping Matters volunteer. What an awesome program, and something that I am passionate about but never really knew how to do anything about!

I am blessed to have never known true hunger and I thank God for that. But I hope to teach my children how to be grateful for their blessings and how to be aware of the children around them that might not be so blessed.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Deelightful said...

I was blessed enough to not ever have to worry if there was food on our table growing up.. it was nothing fancy but my parents made a lot of sacrifices to make sure we were well taken care of... Every year at Christmas my company does a food drive to collect food for the area food pantries that are in need.. one of our departments also adopts needy families within the company to make sure they are also taken care of...

Also my friend Tommy Fitzgerald is a local chef and restaurant owner here in Grand Rapids, MI... last year he threw a huge 40th birthday party at the JW Marriott and instead of gifts raised money for the Kids Food Basket here in town.. they provide lunches for hungry kids in our city. This year he is doing the same thing.. Thank good ness for people like him.. And YOU! for raising awareness for the hungry kids in our cities!!

At 8:31 AM, Blogger manuela garcía sánchez said...

Dear Shauna,

This was a very significant moving post. I too was a hungry kid in Spain, found myself in the streets at the age of thirteen with my mum and a blind/down syndrome sister. It was a rough time, but one that defined who I am. We ate at a public dinner run by nuns that still exists nowadays, and I found myself a job at a textile factory where they allowed us to sleep at night. I wouldn´t accept money from anybody, only food, and the rest came from my hard work at the factory. Soon enough we were back on our feet, rented a flat and started a decent life again. I worked from 5 am to 8 pm, then I went to night school. Years later I moved to England where I continued my education. That´s also where I discovered that diet could have such an impact on my health, I had suffered from asthma and allergies for years. I started to eat gluten, dairy, and sugar free. Today I´m back in Spain, and I now own the first gluten-free bakery/coffee shop in the country. Every day we take baked goods to the same nuns that fed us so many years ago and continue to feed hungry people today. We also feed the homeless in our town and are commited to a few charities. With the right help, a dire situation can turn into an inspiration for life. I know for a fact. Being a hungry child made me know myself, my strength, what I can live with and what I can live without. I can live with very few things, but I cannot live without nurturing human relationships. This wonderful blog of yours is another way of shaking hands and hearts with human being around the global village. Many thanks and Merry Christmas.

At 8:31 AM, Blogger The Golden Papaya said...

This post made me remember visiting three orphanages in Brazil last year. These kids were fed, if not abundantly, probably sufficiently. But many had visible signs of malnutrition, which was heartbreaking to see. We brought them chocolate Easter bunnies. (Maybe not exactly what they needed, but I didn't organize the trip, just went along.) Oh, and we brought toothbrushes, too.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

Shauna, thank you for spreading the word about hunger in this country, and for sharing your delicious recipes! I live on the Navajo Reservation, where even though a large portion of the population is overweight, many still go hungry often, including friends and their children. Hot Cheetos might seem like food, but when that becomes dinner for many kids here, it's not really food that feeds them. Thank you for reminding me that there is so much more I can do.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time I help out or donate to the Dream Center food pantry I always stop to think about all the hungry people in need. Its so easy to forget those who are in need. Thanks for sharing those facts. Those bars look very delicious!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Lisa Stander-Horel said...

Thank you, Shauna. You're right - there are kids and adults going to bed hungry and cold tonight. And it is isn't just the economy.

2nd Harvest is now called Feeding America. You can also donate directly online. Even better is to sign up to pledge a small amount each month so that not only are you giving a family food for the holiday, but year round too. Remember, no matter what, we are all a breath away from needing a hand at some point - and the well being of all of our children rests with every one of us.

Next time you see a homeless person, look them in the eye and you might see someone familiar - a reflection of humanity.

Shauna, the lemon bars made me smile. My kitchen looks like that at the end of the baking day.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Amy said...

It's funny you should talk about this subject today, I was just talking to my good friend about how in the world people can have elaborate birthday parties and weddings for their DOGS, there are restaurants that sell "gut buster" meals that are free if you can finish them and yet little children go hungry. WHY?! We are blessed to have a food bank very close to our house, my kids enjoy unloading food from their Sunday School drives and weighing it to see just how much of a difference kids can make. That is empowering! Something else to think about- rather than putting nasty food you don't even LIKE (or that has sat in your pantry for a YEAR) in donation boxes, why not pick something YOU would like to eat? When you're stocking up on beautiful fire roasted tomatoes that are one sale, grab one more for those who would be happy to feed their children something nutritious and delicious. Wow, if GFG was preaching, I'm probably HARPING! Sorry, hopping off my soap box now ...

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Kim Foster said...

Hey Shauna,

What a great post. I love how you remind us how easy it is to get caught up in the little things (like the not so perfect photos that I totally love because it's real and honest and your life).

Also, thanks for posting to Brooke's post on being a hungry child. You know, as I was reading about her being turned away by a neighbor, I was thinking how easy it is for people to get distracted by their own little troubles and miss something really big and urgent right in front of them.It's pretty easy to miss what a child really needs or is asking for, unless you are totally tuned in.

That was a quiet reminder to me, to keep my eyes open, listen to the kids around me, be in the moment, because it would be easy to miss something and have that miss stay with a kid their whole lives.

Thanks for the deep-hearted holiday reminder.

xo Kim

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting about this! My family runs a local charity which, through it's annual fundraiser, donates to a shelter as well as other local organizations. They are desperately in need of funds during this economic downturn.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Martha said...

As an intern in social work, I have spent time with so many young children that are not only not getting enough food, but when they eat, it is unhealthy. Among many other effects, the children often have trouble concentrating in school or doing their school work. Hunger therefore affects their futures. I hope to one day work toward addressing generational poverty.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Nikko28brass said...

My mom is a single mom, and she has issues with depression and bad boyfriend choices. Growing up in elementary school and junior high, we had a place to live and I had clothes for school, but often, my mom would be too engulfed in her depressed mind or bad relationship to go grocery shopping, or give me money for lunch. She would spend too much money on booze, going out, cigarettes, and pot (though I know she doesn't know that I know she smokes pot...). So I began working under the table at a flower stand to get money for lunch and food on the weekends she would go out and leave me home. I worked at this flower stand until it transitioned to a flower shop from the end of elementary school 5th grade through high school to help out with feeding myself. It wasn't like I was on the street going through trash cans. But I can remember plenty of times going to school hungry and watching other kids gorge themselves on pizza and chips and chili cheese fries from the cafeteria with money to burn. Now I bring food items for my weekly church gatherings. Thirty minutes before the service begins, there is a meet & greet time with food and coffee available all run by volunteers. Even when I feel like I don't have the funds to contribute, I remember that I have food in my kitchen and that there may be someone at the service who doesn't get enough to eat and doesn't have a full kitchen.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

i haven't experienced hunger myself, but i have done research on it at UW. hunger is a hugely social and political issue. people think that they are doing their part by donating canned goods to the food shelf but, while that helps in the short term, there are much larger factors at play which perpetuate hunger. thanks for the thoughtful post!

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Beth said...

I never knew we were poor when I was younger. My mom used to make spaetzle (german noodles). The ingredients: flour, water, and eggs. And, sometimes, we didn't have any eggs so it was just flour and water. Topped with butter and a can of brown gravy - sometimes. I am one of five children. We would all cheer on spaetzle night. We didn't know our mother cried over the large stock pot as the noodles boiled that she had nothing else to feed us. I donate to local charities around where I live because anyone can become hungry and homeless and no one should have to be hungry or homeless, especially this time of year.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those cookies look yummy!

My parents are very strong minded about helping others - especially orphans and children in general. I grew up feeding and serving kids. It's amazing that you are apart of something that is blessing people's lives!

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. It truly brings tears to my eyes.
Thank goodness I lead a Girl Scout troop that yearly creates a donation to the food bank. We try to keep the not as lucky folks in our hearts year round.

If anyone else reading has the talent to actually teach cooking, can I make a suggestion? Please consider teaching a basic class for your local food bank, teen moms group or family shelter.
I was lucky enough to do this in Portland for a couple of months during my medical training. To see someone learn how to feed their family long term and not be dependent on prepared foods is truly a gift.
Some of my attendees weren't even aware of how much they could save by buying things in bulk like beans or spices.

Thank you Shauna for keeping the less fortunate in mind.
Oh, and if you are one of those conference goers who get loads of high value coupons for products that don't work for you, please consider donating those to the food bank as well.
My local bank was thrilled by the laundry detergent coupons for a FREE 20-30 oz detergent. They were a freebie at Blog Her and have made 15 families able to have clean clothes this year without being a financial burden.
Food stamps don't buy things like toilet paper, detergents, dish soap, foil, ziplocs and personal hygiene products. If you travel, your soaps, shampoos etc are always welcome at the local shelters.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Summer said...

I was a hungry kid. In high school I can only remember eating in the cafeteria once, and that was only because they were giving away free cookies and milk as a promotion. I didn't want the other students to see what I was eating when there was anything that I could bring for lunch (slices of bread are not a "cool lunch")or I would go to a club meeting so I didn't have to worry about lunch at all. I didn't even have a lunch bag or containers to put a lunch in, so that was awkward too.
There are programs today that I am so grateful for, but then I had no one to give me food when I was hungry at school. Thank you for the awareness. I am constantly worrying about healthy food for my son today and I often buy food for him first, instead of gluten free ingredients for myself.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a hungry kid. I remember food stamps that were like monopoly money, came on the 7th of the month. I remember one day, just about the end of the month. I was hungry, there were two stale pieces of bread (more than some kids have now) and condiments in the fridge. I had a mayo and ketchup sandwich for dinner. I'll never forget that. To this day I have a "thing" about having enough food in my house.

I work for an amazing company that collects food for the local food pantry, and I always buy extra gluten free food to donate. As we all know, there are many kids who are not only hungry, but may get sick from the food in the food pantry basket. Every little bit helps!

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Justin said...

it's all about the kids. it should always be all about the kids. great post.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much like you wrote in your post, when I hear about stories and statistics like this, I get sad and then move forward. I have given to different charities a few times, but not an inordinately large amount, by any means.

Reading this reminded me that people can't move forward without thinking about their peers that are suffering. I fully intend on donating to this cause, even if it is a small amount of money. As the old saying goes, it is better to do something than nothing.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger spicybohemian said...

Thank you for this post, Shauna. I wasn't a hungry kid, but I grew up in Africa and it was impossible to ignore the hunger that was present all around. It makes you tremendously aware, even as a child.

Thanks for writing about this. Through awareness and working together, we can make a difference.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger brenda said...

Thank you so much for this post today. It is always a good reminder about how very, very fortunate most of us are and how difficult life is for many of our neighbours. It seems unimaginable to be able to provide something as basic as food to one's family.

Speaking as someone who managed a food security program for 3 years, I would like to reiterate what Dr. Layton commented on. If you, or someone you know, can provide some basic cooking skills to families who are food bank participants, please do!! Learning how to provide nutritious meals within a limited budget or even how to provide healthy meals for your family using the items you would normally receive at a foodbank is invaluable.

I would also mention (and then I'll step off the soapbox) that foodbanks receive most of their donations at Christmas but come January and February the shelves are nearly empty. Donating food now is important but many of those children will still be hungry 2 months from now.

Sorry about the lecture, this is definitely one of those topics I feel strongly about.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger smiley135 said...

great post! its terrible that there are so many children starving especially when it is so easy to help. i was never starving while growing up but, when my parents divorced we were living off of spaghettios & mac n' cheese because we couldn't afford much else. my mom actually had to send me to live with my grandma & grandpa for that reason.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger VanessaS said...

I grew up with plenty of food, too much at times. I have a son who is growing up with plenty of food, too much at times. The first Sunday of the month at our church is Food Drive Sunday where we help restock our area food pantry. Thanks for the wonderful post to help put some perspective back in my life.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the link to Brooke's post. That was really moving. It brought back some hard memories. We never went hungry (my mom could whip up anything) but there were days where there were very slim pickings. Now that I have a child, childhood hunger is the issue that breaks instant tears to my eyes. It's so frustrating- It doesn't have to be that way.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Gabrielle Hoffman said...

I recently hosted a bake sale for Share our Strength and Cookies for Cancer in my city. It was a huge success! We had lots of regular, gluten-free, and vegan goodies and people were so excited to see alternative baking at a bake sale. Many people generously donated to these organizations and were moved by our efforts. Share our Strength is such a wonderful organization, I think many people do not realize how many hungry children there are in our own country. I also recommend checking out Cookies for Cancer - they are an organization that donates money to pediatric cancer research.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

well, we were never without food, but I do remember a time when there was so much talk of money and doing without. I remember not eating when I was hungry because I was afraid that if I ate too much we would lose our house. The past couple years we've made a lot of donations to Pine Ridge Reservation - mostly clothes, but we also give to the home heating oil program. In addition to being hungry, folks on the reservations have to choose between food and heating their homes in the winter. Some times they are too hungry and choose heat - and freeze to death.
I just found your website as I explore a gluten free lifestyle (for sinuses, not celiacs). thank you.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Mouse said...

Something I loved my old school for: there were bagels available for breakfast every morning. Most students didn't need them, but they were there so that students on scholarship, who may also have been hungry children, could have breakfast without having any special attention drawn to them.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Jess said...

I remember a point in my childhood, I was probably about 7 or 8, when we didn't have enough to eat and my mom served Cheerios with water instead of milk. I look back am grateful for those water soaked Cheerios. At least we had those to eat.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Kate said...

It is a political issue.

Kids are hungry because their parents don't have jobs because they were laid off. Or because they are a ward of the state and the foster home they live at doesn't give them enough to eat because that system isn't properly regulated. Or maybe they have undiagnosed allergies because health care is not afforable and they don't eat because they are scared to get sick.

Kids of illegal immigrants.
Kids raising themselves and their siblings because of incarcerated moms and dads (50% of which are black even though only about 14% of the american population is black).
Kids of sex workers.
Kids of people on welfare.

Hunger comes from inequality, and inequality is always political.
Help in any way you can, of course, but we shouldn't pretend that hunger is an unexplainable part of our world.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger dflat said...

I didn't grow up hungry, but now that I am in my 20's and still pursuing higher education I find myself in that boat. Since I've been diagnosed I've found it a lot harder to eat well because healthy eating is so expensive, and most of the cheap unhealthy foods have gluten. Baking is also a luxury it seems..Alas, I can only dream of making these one day (or hope that one of my better off friends will surprise me with them!)

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I was raised by a single mom. There were times we needed some help. We used food stamps. I didn't go to bed hungry, but I know things were stretched thin a lot of the time. As a child I thought "breakfast dinner" (usually eggs with toast and milk or a dutch baby with eggs, a little flour, milk and butter) was a treat. I now know that sometimes it was the only way my mom could put food on the table in the least expensive way. And while I know it was tough for her, she is part of the reason I am now creative in the kitchen. Thanks Shauna for a great post.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Yummm! Ginger and Lemon is only my favorite flavor combo EVER!!

I've seen firsthand what an organization like Greyston can do. I took an internship during college at FareStart, a similar organization in Seattle. (Please tell me you've heard of it? If not, a tragedy!) It was beautiful to see homeless & chronically unemployed men & women prepare for careers in the kitchen. There's so much empowerment & encouragement is truly, truly life-altering sometimes.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Angie said...

Thank you for the reminder. I've always been fortunate enough to have food on the table, but have volunteered at soup kitchens to help people who haven't. This is a timely reminder of the need. Thanks!

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

We actually support our local food bank every month of the year, not just in December. Our area has had to deal with three major hurricanes in the last ten years, either supporting our neighbors who were affected by hurricanes or supporting our own community which was hit. There are many people who would not have any food if not for the food bank.

Please remember, hunger is every day, not just the holiday season. Please do what you can.

Blessings to all.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger The Gluten-Free Radical said...

I was just taking an Internet break before sitting down to write a paper for my embryology final. It is about the effects of malnutrition in development and early childhood. Interesting timing.

Thank you for this post. It is good to be reminded that the subject of my studies are real people who live around me, not just statistics. My husband and I always donate a few cans to food drives, though lately I have been thinking we ought to be doing more. Reading your words is really inspiring, and we'll definitely be getting more involved this year.

I feel convicted, but that is a good thing!

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I find it amazing that in a land of so much, that there can be so many people going hungry. I have been blessed with always having enough to eat so thanks Shauna for the reminder.

My brother lives and worked in a mill town where last year, when the workers when on strike the company closed down the mill. No backpay, no employment insurance, nothing for most of the families in the town. While we are supporting my brother in his efforts to get by and get a new job, my hat goes off to the people Winnipeg who opened up a food bank in Pine Falls to help the shut out workers.

Our family picks a family through our church to support at Christmas time with a hamper of food, clothing and toys. This year I think it was 3 larger hampers.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

WOW 1/4 kids, that's high, I liked how one girl said she was donating gluten free... I'm going to do that also! Thanks for the eye opener!

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

I know that when I was little we were destitute, but I don't remember ever going hungry. I am sure my parents probably did. I also remember getting older that we were very poor, we always had food though. I have a special friend who hides things like this and I didn't know until a week or so before Thanksgiving that they were going hungry. Now I make sure I've got something to take over when I visit to help out. They are gluten free and dairy free and have visited the food banks, but most of those things have stuff in them that make them sick. :(

The lemon bars look fantastic, my husband loves lemon bars.

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Marisa said...

I volunteered at a homeless shelter and always felt bad for the poor kids who had to stay there. I tried to give them a little more food if they asked for it.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Thank you. Thank you for your fearlessness, the imperfect perfect photo, and the honesty of your words. I am so glad we all have opportunities to wake up and see the important stuff around us.

Thank you for sharing the story of hunger and for personalizing it.


At 5:59 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Thank you for that humbling moment. I hope I can remember that hunger doesn't know a season and to continue to give all year long.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Su said...

I do not remember being hungry. But I do remember a lady we called "the Raven" who would bring us still-good food that she had rescued from the dumpsters behind the local grocery stores...and I remember the "mystery boxes" we got when my mom bargained with the grocer to buy up the cases of mismatched rejects in his back room. Sometimes it was a box of unlabeled cans, sometimes air freshers and one time cases of canned was years before I ate tuna again! There are so many needy families. Thank you for this post.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

I teach at a low income school. When the kids earn eating lunch with me there are a few that don't know what the items on my salad are but when they try them they LOVE them. I usually keep an extra piece of fruit, granola bar, or gogurt in the classroom in case one of my kids hasn't eaten. It happens way more than I like to say!

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Laura said...

My family stuggled with money but we always had food. I was blessed in that way. I am a huge fan of the organization Feed my Starving Children. I will be serving this week to help my church pack a million meals that will feed children in the US and around the world.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger RinnieKirk said...

I'm sitting here, stomach growling ready for dinner which is on the stove and thinking about how it's insane that I get to relieve the grumbly feeling while people in my community DON'T. We have an amazing food pantry that was just opened by our church a few months ago and we feed almost 150 people a week but it's still not enough. But it's a start...

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna, I just did a post answering your was really hard for me to answer,it was too deep too personal to answer in a comment. If you want to check it out here is a link:

At 8:56 PM, Blogger elia said...

Though I've been reading a long time, this is my first post - what an inspiring and hope-giving bunch of comments here! A couple of weeks ago, after cashing out in a grocery store behind a family who had to leave behind bread and juice because they didn't have enough money left on their assistance card, my husband came home to tell me how awful he felt that he didn't know how to offer to buy those things for them (and he is not a shy person!). So we decided to invite our friends to contribute to a mini food drive in place of our usual holiday gift exchange, and I have been completely blown away by their generosity.

Still, it is such a good reminder from so many of the other commenters that hunger isn't limited to one season...and that is my first resolution for the new year, to make a monthly commitment. (And a hear! hear! to those who point out the endemic socio-political nature of hunger...another good reminder to be engaged citizens as well as neighbors.)

At 2:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lemon bars look beautiful. I'm so glad that you are also participating in SOS's Share our Holiday Table event. I hope we all were able to recruit many many donations - It has been such a great experience seeing everyone's posts and so inspiring that we all are trying to help out such a worthy organization.

At 2:37 AM, Blogger The InTolerant Chef ™ said...

Every year in her stocking, my little girla gets a caard with a picture of a chicken - or some such creature- from Santa thanking her for sharing her gifts with people who need them more than her. We purchase these through World Vision and I think it's a valuble lesson for her. When we sponsered a child we also chose one who's the same age as her so she can relate to them more as a 'real' person. I know this is a bit further afeild than my home town, but it still helps raise awareness that there are those who need food more than we need toys.

At 6:31 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow. Thank you Shauna for the reminder on what's most important this holiday season. I just read the piece by your friend about childhood hunger, fighting back tears. I was not a hungry child but my mother, who was born into war in Warsaw, Poland, during the Nazi invasion, knew hunger from the very beginning of her life. Reading your friend's words reminded me of how much shame she must have felt, and how helpless she must have felt as well. I learned a lot from her growing up, because while my parents struggled to make ends meet, her goal was always to have food on the table. She knew how to stretch it and share it, and I also learned from her not to turn my back on hunger or need around me.
I discovered your blog when my son was diagnosed with a moderate gluten allergy a few weeks ago, but I have discovered so much more than recipes at your site. Thank you.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger alice said...

I can't believe you almost didn't
Put the picture up. I can see the ooze and abundant moisture in these. I thunk I'd have to serve them as petit fours.
You did a lovely job of reminding us about those less fortunate. I hope you have inspired many of us to give a little extra this holiday.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I haven't been starving, but I have been on food stamps and it is an incredibly humbling experience. I can't imagine what it's like to go to a food bank needing to feed your family. Especially if you or your child has food allergies. My heart goes out to those in need.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Kristy said...

I was one of those kids growing up where it was feast or famine...
Feast? My parents had jobs, we had a roof over our head and food in our tummies.
Famine? We lived in cars, struggled to eat, struggled to exist.
I do remember going to bed hungry...wanting just one more bite of what we didn't have. I'd dream of bread, potatoes, veggies.
I donate to food drives, I volunteer at Food Banks. It's never enough, but I try to give back when I can.
Thank you for being a part of this. While I support what we are doing in other countries (both my son and my nephew are Marines), I feel that we need to focus here at home as well.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Kimber said...

I currently work for the Department of Workforce where food stamps and financial assistance are issued. One of the things I have been pondering lately is, "if there are millions of kids out there going hungry, why is there pile and piles of food at places like the Salvation Army waiting to be eaten?" Is it because people don't know where they can find food for their families? Is it because they want to, but are too humiliated at the thought of having to take from someone else, something that they did not earn themselves? Is there too much pride involved. I would love to know other's thoughts on this.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

We know what it is like to feel hungry. DH had a stroke we are living on food stamps only. Our food panty we can visit only 4 times a year. you can visit two times an month for bread (not gfree!) and maybe beans. Lost our house after 26 years. DD took us in and makes sure we have what we need. not everyone is that lucky. love your recipes. just have to pick and choose what we can make. Dee

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Sprigs of Rosemary said...

I often feel guilty that I spend so much time thinking about food, reading about food, cooking food, squabbling with others over the merits of this food or that or this style of cooking or that when I know that there are so many who just want food.

I've never truly been hungry -- only student-poor and needing to be creative with beans and rice.

I wish that this season of giving would last all year.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Catie said...

I've never been hungry - but my husband and I sponsor 2 children via World Vision Canada and donate additional money to that charity several times a year. This year my department was having a food drive and I donated some gluten free nonperishable food.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you Shauna for reminding us of this issue. It's so easy to forget.

I remember a time growing up that money was tight. I don't ever remember going to bed hungry because my parents would always make sure that the 4 of us kids had enough to eat. There would be nights where we would have a 10pc package of frozen burritos. Each of us kids would get 2 a piece and my parents would each get 1. It makes me so grateful when I think of their sacrifice.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Courage Cooks said...

Thank you for this inspiring and eye-opening post. We are so incredibly lucky, even with whatever struggles we may face in life. This Saturday, I am looking forward to going to Costco with my man and buying a bunch of food to take to the food bank. I think it's a start of a good tradition.

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Money was definitely tight at times when I was growing up, but I never knew hunger.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Lindsay said...

I am lucky enough to have never been hungry, but I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa and I often fed my hungry students. They needed the food and I enjoyed their company.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Shuku said...

What a beautiful post, Shauna. I wasn't a hungry child growing up, but I had a very long stretch of being hungry when I went to university,and the money I made wasn't enough to stretch even to a week, and the rest was for tuition fees. Half a bag of flour, a tiny bit of oil, one bunch cheap collard greens to last as long as they could - eating was a luxury. I didn't tell anyone the situation was so bad, but some friends of mine found out - and even though they were in Minnesota, they arranged for a store in my area to deliver a box of groceries to me. I cried that afternoon, staggered at their kindness.

I've never forgotten how it was to be hungry, and how that simple act of kindness meant so much.

This Christmas here in Kuala Lumpur, a group of my friends and I are bringing groceries, supplies, and other necessities to very poor families around our area so that their children won't have to go to bed hungry, or have to drink Chinese tea instead of milk because their mothers have no milk to feed them. The looks on some of the children's faces when we came over with food for them were all the Christmas presents we needed.

At 2:03 AM, Blogger Shelly Richardson said...

Awesome post Shauna!!! AS a family we are extremely blessed to have food on our table everyday! We adopted/sponsored 3 little girls a few years ago that we provide for monthly with a great organization that we have researched and know that they are truly getting the money. We also provide a large gift to each of the girls' families at Christmas time. We also donate to our local food bank, a homeless shelter and local food drives. We have also given to charities providing food for those in need. It's so easy to get caught up in our day to day lives and take all we have for granted. I am thankful for the reminders and that we are able to give to those less fortunate! Thanks, again Shauna!!!

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

We are fortunate. I've never had to go hungry. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Christine said...

I was lucky enough to never be truly hungry. Money was sometimes tight when I was a kid, but there was always enough for basic food. No one should suffer from hunger.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger heidi said...

I have donated a lot of food to food banks. My mother-in-law has a huge garden and they donate all the extra produce to Second Harvest. It is awesome!

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Suzanne N said...

Such powerful words and food for thought Shauna; thank you very much. Will the outcome of the lemon bars be affected by leaving out the ginger? I don't care much for ginger but I LOVE lemon bars and have missed them so!

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Ellen Johnson said...

Great post and recipe - two for one. if readers can manage to give to local food banks with a continuing monthly gift it helps them so much more...that way they are certain of having your money. $10 a month, one lunch out is a great way to start.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Evie said...

Thank you. For your post. For your recipe. And for leading me to Brooke's essay. I know that battle - to appear normal - one of the joneses, when everything is a struggle. I never went hungry, but I grew up on the cheapest food my parents could find (didn't make for a healthy childhood). My shame came from being overweight for the sake of scraping by.

When we have enough, let us remember to spread what we have. Spread what is unnecessary. I like to do what Brooke dreamed of - the surprise casserole.

Thank you, again.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Suzanne N said...

My 5 year old friend Abby and I baked these fantastic bars today without the ginger. We had a great time measuring the various flours and starches with the scale...honestly makes a difference. Thanks you for a fun winter day activity!

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I can't help but be moved to tears. I would like to share a story that happened to me yesterday. My friend and I were sitting outside a coffee shop yesterday and this vehicle pulls up beside us and the young woman gets out and says that she couldn't believe that anyone would be sitting outside in this cold and did we need anything? They had collected up blankets and pillows and hats and mitts. They bought fresh Chinese food and made brown bag lunches. They even had coats. They were trying to teach their young son (or brother?) about giving back, because, as many kids are, he was becoming self-centred and reward-oriented. I left with a smile. (They do say witnessing an act of kindess makes people feel good!) And... I paid it forward.


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