Category Archives: Ag Events
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.
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!
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!
In honor of Earth Day, there are several activities happening around Indianapolis! Events like these are great ways to get the whole family involved and explore new ways to make our planet a better place.
One exciting event is the Earth Day Indiana Festival on Saturday April 27 in downtown Indy. This is a free outdoor festival with over 130 environmental and conservation exhibits, special activities for the kids, great music and wonderful food.
The festival is being held at the White River State Park and goes from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
With over 130 exhibits there’s going to be a lot to see so I wanted to point out a few neat booths that you won’t want to miss.
Indiana’s Family of Farmers – a proud sponsor of Earth Day Indiana – will have two booths at the event. Now you might be wandering, what are a group of farmers doing at Earth Day? Well, a famer’s livelihood depends on the land so they also have to be good environmentalists to make sure their fields last from year to year. Indiana’s farm families work hard to be good stewards of our land and they want to help promote taking care of the soil.
The first Indiana Family of Farmers booth will be in Exhibit Tent D – booth 93 with their popular “Wheel of Ag” encouraging visitors to learn more about being good stewards of the land. A variety of farm families from across the state will also be at the booth to answer questions about their farms.
Land conservation is becoming more and more important and farmers are doing a lot of great things to preserve their soil. Management practices like no-till farming, using cover crops, and preserving waterways and wildlife buffers. Be sure to stop by the Indiana Family of Farmers booth to learn more!
The second Family Of Farmers booth will be in the Children’s Tent – booth 122 and will help kids plant popcorn seeds in biodegradable CowPots to celebrate the “Year of Popcorn” at the 2013 Indiana State Fair.
Indiana is the number two state in popcorn production in the U.S. and Indiana Family of Farmers wants to help share all of the cool facts about popcorn.
All of these activities sound so fun! So be sure to mark Earth Day Indiana Festival on your calendar and get the kids ready for a day full of fun and learning!
And if you’re up for an extra challenge, as you visit the Indiana Family of Farmers booths, share what you learn about conservation and agriculture on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by tagging @FamilyofFarmers and using the hashtag #FarmsMatter.
Hope to see you at the festival on Saturday!
As a 20-something living in Indy, I decided to join this cool group called Indy Hub that advocates for Indy’s twenty-/thirty-somethings, and acts as a resource to help us learn about and become a part of the city.
If you’ve read any of my blog posts, or any social media posts for that matter, (or heck, just by looking at my blog header photo) you can probably tell that I am passionate about agriculture and food. So when I heard that Indy Hub was putting on an event called “Raise Your IQ: Indiana Food” I knew I couldn’t miss it!
At the event we were given the opportunity to have breakout sessions with two of the four panel members and then hear from all of them during a panel discussion. The panel members included:
Don Villwock, Indiana Farmer and President of Indiana Farm Bureau on new methods of agriculture and how they support a stronger economy and state for all of us.
Clay Robinson, Founder of Sun King Brewing on building a new career through food.
Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO and Medical Director of Wishard Health Services on envisioning the future of public health through food.
Aster Bekele, Founder and Executive Director of Felege Hiywot Center on her journey of community development and youth empowerment through a tiny urban garden.
The two panel members I listed to were Clay from Sun King, and Aster from the Felege Hiywot Center.
I’ve heard of Sun King before, but who wants to pass up a free sample and be able to pick the brain of one of the most popular local breweries in the city? Not this girl!
Clay talked about the increase in appreciation for local artisans, local agriculture and how people are recognizing that there are opportunities for these things within the local community. He also said that he is proud to be local and wants to stay local. He wants people in Chicago to say, “When are you expanding to Chicago?” so that he can tell them, “Never, when are you going to come to Indiana?”
He wants his beer to be known as “Indy’s local beer” that’s exclusive to the city and people come to Indy to buy it. And I love that philosophy! I know not everything can be kept local, but it boosts the economy and ups the hype about the cool things we’re doing in Indiana. Keep up the good work, Clay!
DidYouKnow: Indiana’s popcorn crop is the second-largest in the country and Sun King used this as their inspiration for their Popcorn Pilsner that is crafted with 2 pounds of Indiana grown popcorn per keg!
My second session was with Aster from the Felege Hiywot Center and I was very interested to learn more about this organization. Aster came here from Ethiopia and recognized that kids in her neighborhood weren’t appreciating everything they have here in the U.S. (education, resources, etc.) so she started the center to serve urban youth of Indianapolis, and teach them about gardening and environmental preservation as well as encourage them to embrace the virtues of community service. They have a really neat story so be sure to learn more about them on their website!
What I thought was so neat about her story was her passion for youth.
“Be patient and get them involved,” said Aster. “Also really listen to their ideas and be the resource the need. Sustainability continues through generations and the youth have to be able to carry it on.”
And that is so true! I am passionate about teaching youth about their food and agriculture and it was refreshing to see her putting an emphasis on it. I was so inspired by Aster’s work that I might actually help volunteer there! And you can too!
To end the night we heard from the panel and talked about what is exciting about Indiana food, sustainability, and how we can continue the conversation about the importance of knowledge about our food.
Indiana Farm Bureau President and Indiana farmer, Don Villwock said that he is excited about the opportunities for young and smaller famers to get involved with the increase in the local food movement.
As a farmer, he also emphasized the importance of sustainability.
“Sustainable farming is leaving his farm better than when his grandfather farmed it,” Don explained. “Water is clean, soil health is better, air is less polluted, and the crops that we raise are healthy, more nutritious and safer.”
This was such a powerful quote to me because it shows that despite what some might think, farmers really do care about their land and the crops they grow. That is their livelihood and they eat the same things we do so they want to make sure to take care of their resources.
My final take-a-way point of the night was from Dr. Lisa Harris about making time to actually gather around a table for a meal together. This really stuck with me because by being from a large family, this was one of the things I most valued about growing up. And I want to encourage everyone to make an effort to get back to cooking meals at home and eating at the dinner table. It sets a good example for your children and is such a good way to keep you connected to your food, and as a family.
Overall this event was so much fun! There was a great turnout with people from many different professions around the city. I caught up with a few participants to see what they took away from the discussion.
Click the link above to listen to physician Risheet Patel of Fishers and psychiatry resident Aimee Sirois share their take on learning more about happenings in Indiana food.
Thanks to everyone who came out to encourage the conversation about Indiana Food! I can’t wait until the next IndyHub event!
Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest!
Congrats! Hope you have a great time!
Which weekend do you plan to attend? I’d love to hear about your visit!
****Give-A-Way contest ended, but still check out the festival info below!*****
DID YOU KNOW that the National Maple Syrup Festival is held right here in Indiana? I had no idea!
This unique annual event is held at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, located near Medora, Indiana. Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, festival goers can enjoy the taste of country made hot pancakes with 100% pure Maple Syrup all day every day as well as experience a variety of fun-filled events, activities, Live-music & demonstrations are sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more year after year. Maple Syrup Producers from every maple syrup producing state in America are invited to come and share their version of 100% pure Maple Syrup so get your sweet tooth ready!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Share this blog with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment below with the link to your post.
For more chances to enter:
2. Follow me on Twitter at @Chelsea_PA and post the tweet below. Then leave an additional comment below with the link to the tweet!
“I want to join @Chelsea_PA at #MapleFest13 with @maplewoodfarms, @kingarthurflour and @basilmomma! #maplesyrup #SVChallenge”
3. Subscribe to my blog! Follow it above if you are a wordpress user, or just subscribe via email. Once you follow my blog, leave another comment saying you did that as well.
BEST OF LUCK! The contest will only be open until Monday at noon so don’t miss it!
(Sorry for the short notice, but we have time to mail you the tickets!)
ALSO………….King Arthur Flour is holding the KAF Sweet Victory Challenge recipe contest and you could win!
To enter, create a recipe using pure maple syrup and King Arthur Flour and you could win big! The contest will be held during the National Maple Syrup Festival on March 2nd, 9th. There are two divisions (Adult, Youth), with three Categories (Savory Main Dish, Dessert, Breakfast) for each division. Visit http://www.sweetvictorychallenge.com/ to learn more and enter. HURRY THOUGH! Entries for this are due TOMORROW!
2013 National Maple Syrup Festival
March 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th
8121 W. County Rd. 75 South
Medora, IN 47260
Children 4 yrs old and under: Free!
Youth (5 to 15 yrs old): $6.00
Adults (16 – 64 yrs old): $10.00
Seniors (65+): $8.00
Cool thing to know! – Donate (1) canned good for a $2.00 discount off. All donated food will be given to area food pantries.
I will be attending the festival as well so hope you all come and join me!
Check out some more info about the National Maple Syrup Festival in these articles!
- My Indiana Home: http://my-indiana-home.com/the-national-maple-syrup-festival-a-sweet-celebration/
- Inside Indiana Business: https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?id=57951&ts=true#middle
- Just Short Of Crazy Blog: http://justshortofcrazy.com/2013/02/national-maple-syrup-festival-sweet-victory-recipe-challenge-svchallenge/
Rise and shine everyone! It’s super early but I’m on my way down to NATIONAL FFA Convention today in downtown Indy. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a BIG deal. Around 50,000 FFA students will be In Indy for the convention and it will be a sea of blue jackets!
Do you know why they wear those jackets? The link below is from a post I wrote about National FFA week last year, check it out to learn all about FFA and those blue jackets!
Have a great National FFA Convention everyone!