Someday there will be money. Especially since we're starting to apply for grants. We'll be starting with educating farmers, grocers, restaurateurs and schools that most of their excess food CAN be put to use if it goes through our licensed commercial kitchen, registered non-profit, and insured operations. All they have to do is call us.
Beyond that, I imagine working with farmers to put together fresh produce boxes from their excess harvest. Grocers could provide more variety with dairy, meat, and baked goods. Then we could go into schools and find the kids who are on the free lunch program -- obviously they come from low income homes, and often their school lunch is their nutrition source for the day. What if we could get a box of fresh food to each of those families? What if we could do it every month?!
A lot of these families know where to get free food, how to apply for food stamps, how to make do with less. But their access to FRESH food is limited. Have you been to an emergency pantry? They have beans, rice, pasta, canned soup and vegetables, and maybe some cereal and boxed milk. Even families who want to buy fresh food often can't get to an affordable source due to lack of transportation.
I love to write, so I'm working on a simple cookbook for low-income families to help them maximize their use of low-cost foods -- what to buy with food stamps, what to choose at the emergency pantry. The book would go into every food box. If I can get funds to publish it sooner, it could start going to emergency pantry clients as soon as Thanksgiving.
This is a massive dream. The number of kids who live without fresh food, even just in Oregon, is overwhelming. But the fresh food exists. I want, desperately, to get it to those kids.
I'd love to hear from anybody who has ideas or energy on this issue. I don't expect to change the whole world. Just to feed the kids.