Transforming Lives Through the Power of Food – Marion County Young Farmers Volunteer at Second Helpings
Here in the United States, we are very fortunate to have access to an abundant and low-cost food supply, thanks to the freedoms of our culture and the hardworking farmers that provide it. But have you ever had something you swore that you would use when you were in the store, but ended up tossing the entire package because you didn’t use it and it went bad? Or have you ever been to an event where they plated meals that ended up with empty seats and leftover meals?
I don’t like to admit it, but I have guilty of this before. I have gotten better at only buying the food I’m going to definitely use, but the unfortunate truth is that useable food is wasted every single day. With the bulk of that waste being in the food service industry.
And that is how, three chefs — Kristen Cordoza, Bob Koch, and Jean Paison, formed Second Helpings, Inc. They saw firsthand the tremendous amount of waste in the food service industry and were acutely aware that most programs serving the disadvantaged often struggled to provide for their clients’ most basic nutritional needs. So the three chefs set forth to solve all four problems—food waste, hunger, job training, and a source of skilled labor for the local food service industry—with one solution: turn unused food into meals and jobs.
Second Helpings began in 1998.They accept donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry with their Culinary Job Training Program.
“We’re more than a soup kitchen or a food pantry – we’re a community kitchen. We’re not just teaching people to cook – we’re providing an avenue for people to transform their own lives. We don’t just collect food – we rescue food because we can’t stand to see it go to waste when others have none. Today, the need is so much greater than we ever imagined when we began – so we’ll go on undeterred. ” – via SecondHelpings.org
In their first full month of operation, 37 volunteers helped rescue 7,000 pounds of food and prepare 3,074 meals. Thanks to their founders, partners, board, staff, and volunteers, they currently turn over a 100,000 pounds of rescued food into 50,000 meals every month! What an impact!
To reach this accomplishment each month, Second Helpings relies on 700 regular volunteers to fight hunger in our community. Volunteers chop vegetables and cook meals in their Hunger Relief Kitchen. They deliver food to recipient agencies and lend their expertise to office operations, and they also share Second Helpings’ story and impact in the community.
And last week I, along with the Marion County Young Farmers, got to be one of these volunteers!
We arrived and helped full-time volunteers complete various tasks in their Hunger Relief Kitchen. We prepped ingredients that would later be used to create the delicious meals they serve to the community, and helped clean up the kitchen at the end of the evening. The main ingredient we prepped was chopping onions. I did have to apologize to my fiance and coworkers for the intense onion smell that lingered on my hands (despite many hand-washings), but just knowing that I was able to help in someway made it a very wonderful and rewarding experience.
Marion County Farm Bureau (MCFB) has been a long-time supporter of Second Helpings and wanted to continue that support through volunteering. In addition to monetary donations, MCFB Incorporated and Insurance purchased eight livestock projects from Marion County 4-H youth and donated the meat to Second Helpings. This is the fourth year that MCFB has purchased livestock at the annual Marion County Fair and donating the product to help feed Indiana communities. Over 1,300 pounds of meat was provided to Second Helpings.
As a group, we had a great evening volunteering at Second Helpings and met some wonderful people. We hope to make it more of a regular event and are grateful to be a part of their mission to transform lives through the power of food. Thank you, Second Helpings!
If you live in the Indy area and would like to join us in volunteering, or learn more about Second Helpings, visit their website at www.SecondHelpings.org, LIKE them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
As I scrolled through social media pages and blog posts over the weekend, I started to see the familiar “thankful” posts that are published each November. I always enjoy these. I have never actually written a “thankful” post on my blog or social media pages, but they do make me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life.
My health, family, friends, faith, and my job are among the few obvious things I initially thought of, but as I reflected more, I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the solid foundation of skills and values that my parents instilled in me at a young age.
One of the most important of those being reading. Growing up, I can remember learning my ABC’s, my parents helping teach me to read with books like, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (anyone remember that one?), and taking trips to my local Library with my Aunt Beth.
At the time, I may not have realized how valuable those experiences were, but the very fact that I am able to sit here and share my experiences through words just shows how many things in my life, as well as yours, are affected by our ability to read and write. And looking back, I have really come to cherish those memories.
Last Friday, November 1, was National Family Literacy Day and in support of this cause, McDonald’s launched a National Happy Meal Books Program to invite families to celebrate the joy of reading. Through November 14, children who order McDonald’s Happy Meals will find one of four limited edition books featuring stories that bring nutrition, imagination, and play to life. Each book also comes with it’s very own bookmark that kids can personalize.
I think this is so neat! I mean, the toys we got in Happy Meals when I was younger were cool and all, but books are something interesting and practical that kids can keep instead of hiding them in between the car seat cushions, or leaving them on the floor for you to step on, when they get bored with them.
Have you seen these books in your kids’ Happy Meals yet?
Along with these books being placed in Happy Meals nationwide, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is leading a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign! By donating a gently used children’s book, customers will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal to say thank you for helping to share the gift of reading with others in the Indy community.
Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries, and Indy Reads from Nov 1 – 14. In addition, participating libraries are hosting a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal Books. To find a full list of book donation sites and participating libraries, click here: http://www.indywithkids.com/2013/11/happy-meal-day-give-a-book-get-a-book-locations/
Now, I know not all of you are in the Indy area, but I hope everyone can help me promote this event! To help in promoting the “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign, McDonald’s Happy Meal Books program, and National Family Literacy Day, I am hosting a give-a-way for anyone who shares this post on their social media pages!
By entering the contest, and sharing these events, one reader will win a week of happy meal coupons, a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of a Happy Meal Book! (Everything will even be put together in a Happy Meal box!)
Here’s how to enter:
1. Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter and or Pinterest leave a comment below with the URL to your post. Be sure to use the hashtag #mcIndyMoms so we can see your posts as well!
For additional entries: (each of these need a blog comment with the URL as well)
2. Tweet About The Give-A-Way:
Help @Chelsea_PA @indywithkids & @MyIndyMcDonalds promote reading! #McIndyMoms http://bit.ly/McIndyMoms
3.Like IndyWithKids on Facebook
4. Subscribe to Boilermakerag.com
5. Follow @MyIndyMcDonalds on Twitter
6. Follow @Chelsea_PA on Twitter
What was your favorite book as a child?
We have a winner!! Congratulations to Angie MCKie! You are the winner of the McIndyMom’s prize pack! Please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who shared my posts and followed the social media pages! Stay tuned to BoilermakerAg.com for more blog posts and potential give-a-ways!
Entries were put into a list randomizer via random.org and chosen from the results.
Here is the full list of results:
Happy Friday Everyone!
Ok, so…I have to admit. Lately I have been a failure at blogging. With moving into a new house, traveling with work, and planning this whole wedding thing, blogging had to take a back burner for a little bit. I feel like I’ve said this before, but a girl needs some rest every now and then. So thank you for sticking with me!
Things still are busy, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share this with you! A couple weeks ago I posted about the Why I Farm Movement to honor farmers. If you haven’t heard of it yet, be sure to read my last post and check it out!
But my reason for writing today is because they just posted their new video! Why I Farm has been highlighting Midwest farmers and sharing their stories about why they love to farm. As an advocate for agriculture, (Agvocate as we like to say) I absolutely LOVE this! I have seen so many people take for granted how cheap and accessible our food system is that they don’t always appreciate how much hard work goes into producing it.
The videos from Why I Farm do an incredible job of showing just how much passion and emotion these farmers have for what they do. Get your Kleenex ready.. because if your from a farm family, or grew up around farming… some of these may bring tears to your eyes (At least they did for me).
The new video highlights a young farmer from Warrensburg, IL named Nathan Wentworth. He shares his family’s farming history and what it means to him to be able to carry on that tradition. But this video is so much more than that.
My favorite part is that he also shares that there’s more to farming than just driving a tractor. It’s knowing about how to care for the crops, the land and … wait, why am I explaining this? I’ll just let Nathan tell you for himself…
“To put it simply, I love farming. I love figuring out problems. I love watching life grow, transform and develop. I love being a biologist, a botanist, a chemist, an engineer, a marketer and all the professions involved with farming. I love all of it, but nothing can hold a candle to farming with my family. To carry on the traditions, and values that the generations before me developed…and then pass those on to the generation’s to come. That is something God has blessed our family with and it is something we will not take for granted. That’s why I farm.” – Nathan Wentworth
What did you think? Powerful stuff, right? I may be the only one, but it sure makes me proud to be from a farming background and to be working in agriculture! Thank you Nathan, and all farmers, for all that you do!
Also, with harvest season in full swing and farmers out on the roads, please use this video as a remember to respect them on the roads and slow down! I know we’re all busy (myself included) but this graphic from Kelly at the Old Blue Silo is perfect to put it in to perspective.
Well said, Kelly. Well said!
So now that it’s the weekend, join me in unplugging from the digital world for a while and have some relaxation time! But before I go I wanted to share that I have joined the movement to honor farmers, and I hope that’ll you’ll join me too! Visit whyifarm.com to learn how you can help honor farmers.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Being an Ag blogger, I’ve written about farmers and agriculture several times, but I just can’t say it enough – farmers are some of the most hardworking, passionate and dedicated people I know. They truly do want to provide a quality product for consumers and are proud to be a part of feeding families everywhere.
Growing up in agriculture, and by interviewing farmers throughout the Midwest, I have seen a lot of these qualities firsthand. I always come out of these interviews feeling so proud to be a part of this industry and thankful for getting the chance to meet not only great farmers, but all-around great people. People that always remember your name, take time to actually get to know you, and would drop whatever they’re doing to help you…just like you’re a part of their own family.
That’s why this quote from farmer, Bryon Coffman, really hits home for me.
“You’re not just a part of your family farm, you’re a part of agriculture. And that’s a much larger family. That’s Why I Farm.” – Bryon Coffman, Moweaqua, IL.
This quote came from the new “Why I Farm” movement started by Beck’s Hybrids. Being a family owned company, and farmers themselves, they know what it takes to farm. So with the Why I Farm movement, their goal is simple – to honor farmers and give them the recognition they deserve.
To kick off this effort, they interviewed eight Midwest farmers and through video, brought their farming stories to life. And guys, these seriously are incredible! I seriously almost tear up the first time I watch these videos. They really are that powerful! They captured the true emotions from these farmers and you can really see their true passion and love for what they do.
Check out the rest of Bryon Coffman’s video below:
You can view the rest of these videos at www.whyifarm.com.
I don’t know about you, but I think farmers DO deserve to be honored for all that they do – so let’s help to spread the word about Why I Farm! To join the movement, like Why I Farm on Facebook, follow @WhyIFarm on Twitter, and use #WhyIFarm to share the videos and your farming stories!
So what do you say, will you join me in the “Why I Farm” movement? Let’s help honor farmers!
Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post. I am an employee of Beck’s Hybrids but was not compensated in any way to write this post. All thoughts are my own.
Wow, thank you to everyone who entered the give-a-way for Family Night with Indiana’s Family of Farmers at Victory Field! As a fairly new blogger, I think this is the best response I have had with a give-a-way so far! And thank you to all my Indy blogger friends for helping share my post as well! You guys are great
Now for the news you’ve all been waiting on…
I selected the winner using random.org and here were the results! If names were listed more than once, that means they shared the post or followed my blog for additional entries.
Congratulations to Christy Ooley Todd- you were 1st on the list! You and your family have won a 4-pack of tickets to Family Night with IFOF at the Indy Indians game and the In-Game Picnic on Tuesday June 11 at 7:05pm. Thank you to Indiana’s Family of Farmers for providing the tickets!
Thank you to everyone for entering and be sure to check back for more great posts and contests!
See you at the ball park! #FarmsMatter
My last post was about my love for softball so for this post, it just makes sense that I show baseball some love too!
Are you a fan of baseball? If so, or even if you’re just looking for a fun summer outing, I have the event for you! Indianapolis is home to the Indy Indians baseball team and if you’ve never attended a game, you are missing out!
As a non-Indy native, last year was my first time going to see the Indians play but I had a blast!
Next Tuesday’s game on June 11th will be Family Night with Indiana’s Family of Farmers at Victory Field and I have your chance to join us for free!
Thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers, I am giving away a 4-pack of tickets to attend Family Night and join us for the In-Game Picnic in Coors Light Corner!
Gates open 90 minutes before the game and game time is at 7:05 p.m.
This contest will only be open until 11:59pm on Thursday June 6 so hurry up and make sure to enter!
HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:
- Leave a comment below saying that you’d like to join me and Family of Farmers at the game!
FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:
2. Re-post this blog on your Facebook or Twitter page with the phrase:
“I want to go to the @indyindians game w/ @Chelsea_PA & @FamilyofFarmers on June 11th! #FarmsMatter – via boilermakerag.wordpress.com”
…and leave the link to your post in a comment below!
3. Subscribe to my blog!
I will select the winner via random.org and announce it in another blog post, on my Facebook page, and my Twitter page on Friday June 7th!
Hope you can join me at the game!! Best of Luck!
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons, but one in particular is – softball season! From the time I was five years old until my senior year in high school, I put on my cleats and picked up my bat each spring excited to start the season. I still do, and always will, love softball. (Even if the only softball action I get these days is our local slow pitch league)
There’s just something about the smell of a new glove, the crack of the bats, and the dirt-stained uniforms from a game or practice that always bring back good memories.
In fact, some of the best memories for me came during tournament time. Beginning this week, teams all across the state of Indiana are going head-to-head on the journey to the state tournament, starting with sectionals.
And today, I have to give a shout out to my high school alma mater, the Tecumseh Lady Braves, because their win last night brought them to 11 CONSECUTIVE sectional wins (2003-2013)! That ties the STATE RECORD in ANY class! What an awesome accomplishment!
I am also proud to be a part of that journey – playing on the 2004, ‘05, ‘06, and ‘07 teams. My senior year we made it to the state championships and that was one of my overall best sports memories from high school.
You might be thinking, what’s their secret? How can they keep up the wins for 11 seasons? Some people might say that there isn’t much competition with only four teams in our bracket, but I remember busting our butts to win those titles.
Here’s the secret: sure, we’ve had some great talent come through the program over the years but in sports – as in life – you can’t just rely on talent alone. It takes hard work, hours and hours of practices, and most importantly – GREAT COACHES!
We never could have made it to State, or reached the accomplishment of 11 consecutive sectional wins, without the help of seriously phenomenal coaches.
And I’m proud to say that some of the things I learned in softball from these coaches made me a better person, and will stick with me for the rest of my life.
3 LIFE LESSONS FROM SOFTBALL
“If you’re 5 minutes early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late.”
I’ll admit to being late on some occasions, but I was NEVER late to softball practices or games. Especially as seniors, we were the first ones there and the last ones off the field. Coaches always said if we were late, we were wasting our own time, along with everyone else’s.
“If you’re not covered in dirt, you didn’t work hard enough.”
This means diving for balls, sliding into the bases, and going 110% from start to finish. My parents probably didn’t enjoy doing my laundry during softball season but that dirt on my clothes represented hustle and hard work – and that’s something to be proud of.
“Don’t cut corners!”
I’m sure the coaches said this too, but one specific memory was a senior when I was a freshman, Kathy Wood, who always said this when we were running. It came from practice in the gym running around the basketball court and not to run inside the lines but it’s something that applied to all aspects of the game, and life in general. Everyone is always trying to get ahead in this world but you don’t get any stronger or grow as a person by cutting corners in anything.
I am thankful to have learned these very valuable life lessons during my years in Tecumseh softball, and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of the THS softball program. Coaches, players, and even parents – we all worked together, supported each other, and have ultimately reached a tremendous accomplishment – 11 sectional wins!
And to the current Lady Braves – keep these things in mind as you continue in the tournament! Seniors – be the leaders, inspire your fellow teammates, and listen to your coaches. You are learning from some of the best coaches in the state so don’t take them, or this chance to go to State, for granted!
Congrats to Tecumseh Lady Braves on your win and keep winning so I can come watch you in Indy!
The day is finally here! Today is awesome for two reasons.. A. It’s Friday, no other explanation needed. and B. I have the winner of the two free tickets to Zest ‘N Zing: A Foodie Event For the At-Home Chef on May 7 at the Eugene & Marilyn Glick History Center!
First of all, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who entered! It means a lot to me that you guys read my blog and participate in my contest so please continue to check back for more opportunities in the future!
Ok, now lets get to the big news! In a drawing via random.org the winner is…….
Rebeca @ The Average Parent!!!!
Congratulations Rebeca! You and a guest will be joining me at Zest ‘N Zing thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers! I will contact you with further details.
For the rest of those who entered, and all of you in general, there are still tickets left for the event and the proceeds go benefit Gleaners Food Bank in Indy! Tickets are $20 and include includes two drink tickets, five food tickets, a swag bag and the cooking competition.
And let me tell you, it is totally worth it! The food and drinks are amazing, the competition is super fun and the swag bag has some awesome kitchen goodies and recipes!
Tickets are ONLY available for purchase online – No tickets will be sold at the door. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets today! And by attending, you can still have a chance to be the third “Mystery Judge” and get to taste the awesome dishes the teams prepare!
See you next week!
CALLING ALL INDY FOODIES! Clear those calendars and get those appetites ready because Zest ‘N Zing is back!
Join two Indy chefs and two Indiana farmers who will work in teams to create a great new dish during Zest ‘n Zing: A Foodie Event for the At-Home Chef at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center in downtown Indianapolis on May 7.
Indy weatherman, Paul Poteet and WTHR’s Jennie Runevitch will be emceeing the event and last year’s champion, chef Jason Anderson is returning to defend his title! Chef Anderson, joined by cattle farmer Ginny Tauer will go head to head with the new challenger, chef Greg Schiesser from Indiana Downs and hog farmer, Nick Sommers.
Last year I was the #OfficialTweeter for the event and it was a blast! It is a great opportunity to have fun and learn a little more about farmers and food preparation. The recipes are geared toward something you can make in your own kitchen and last year they sent the recipes out after the event so you could try it at home!
I’ll be there again this year and thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers, I have a FREE pair of tickets for you to join me!
*** Here’s how to enter***
Like this post and leave a comment at the bottom saying that you’d like to join me at Zest ‘N Zing.
**For additional chances to win**
Subscribe to my blog and leave another comment saying that you followed me.
Post the tweet below to your Twitter account and leave a comment with the link.
The contest will be open until Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
Judges for this year’s event will be Heather Tallman of the blog, Basilmomma and her radio show “Around the Kitchen Sink” and here’s where it gets even more fun – one of you could be the other judge! The second judge will be chosen out of the audience that night so you have to make sure you’re in attendance!
Doors for the event open at 5 p.m. and you can mix, mingle and eat with farmers from 5 – 7 p.m downstairs. The competition begins at 7 p.m. so be sure to finish up eating a few minutes before to get a good seat!
I’m so excited for this event and I hope you are too after reading this post! Don’t forget that if you want to enter to win the tickets, submit your entry before 11:59pm on Thursday.
If you aren’t drawn as the winner, I hope you will still attend the event!
Tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting Gleaners Food Bank and can be purchased at this link: Zest ‘N Zing Event Tickets.
Can’t wait to see you all there next week!