Guest blogger: Eat So They Can

I stumbled across the Fed Up with Lunch twitter account and loved what I saw; someone who is incorporating humor to highlight a very real issue in the U.S today; childhood obesity and the lack of concern shown by schools and food companies to help! I remember my own school lunches well; every day there were 2 options-a delicious hot lunch from the cafeteria that usually included hot, crispy french fries, perhaps some nachos or a hamburger and the world famous (ok, well maybe school famous) chocolate chip cookies.  Option 2 was my flimsy Wonder bread pb and j made in the morning along with my strictly enforced healthy snack (sad looking apple) and a dessert. From my description I hope it’s apparent to all which meal held me captivated!
It’s ironic that with endless options and choice in the United States, American children are severely lacking in nutritional content similar to developing countries around the world. Anemia is common among young women and girls and fatigue, depression and a short attention span can also commonly be the result of a child not getting the proper nutrition they need from food.
However, where American children are at risk of diabetes, clogged arteries, and other serious health problems later in life, children in other countries are at risk of skeletal deformities, eyesight impairment and loss, stunted growth and an inability to concentrate strictly due to the vitamin deficiencies that are occurring from lack of food. Unfortunately, these and many more symptoms are prevalent in countries without the means to change and alter their children’s diets.
Mrs. Q writes a blog and raises awareness to encourage and, when needed, even demand that we do better for our kids. She has also generously allowed me to guest post and in doing so, supported the GVN Foundation’s campaign to better the lives of children everywhere. GVN Foundation runs an annual fundraiser entitled Eat So They Can. Eat So They Can is a global dinner party held on the weekend of October 16-17th to coincide with World Food Day. We ask people from around the world to host a dinner or lunch party and invite their friends and family. The money otherwise spent on a nice meal in a restaurant donated to support Eat So They Can and one of the four causes: orphaned and vulnerable children; emergency relief; women’s empowerment; and anti-trafficking. If interested, hosts are even given a “party-pack” which gives them a few tools to ensure their event is a success. Our goal this year is to raise $500,000 through Eat So They Can to support our partners in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Why should you consider getting involved in Eat So They Can? We would absolutely love to see Eat So They Can be incorporated into the lunch programs at schools everywhere in the United States! With America only becoming more diverse, it would be great to have themed lunches featuring foods from around the world, specifically countries where students or staff may be from! Secondly, it is a great way to educate children about nutrition, begin to raise cultural awareness and instill leadership and active problem-solving models at an early age. After speaking to a few middle school students about what I ate when I stayed for lunch at a Uganda secondary school, their stunned faces that they ate the same thing every single day had 2 of them declare; “I will never complain about getting the same sandwich 2 days in a row again!”
If you would like to organize a meal for family and friends, please sign-up to benefit from our resources and to learn more about the causes and who we support. If you want to take it a step further and host an event or make it a school-wide fundraiser I will A) send you a virtual hug!  and B) work with you to make sure it’s a success! I hope by watching some clips from the DVD hosts receive, you will see how important this fundraiser is and the massive difference you personally can make. More importantly, raising awareness and bringing education out of the classroom and encouraging them to learn more and ask questions is equally valuable. While we can’t promise you that the middle schools around the country are going to have a shift in demand to make only healthy locally grown products, I can confidently state that the children who take on the challenge of discovering more about the world will only benefit. Join us and ‘Eat So They Can!’
Caitie Goddard (info[AT]eatsotheycan[DOT]org)

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Don’t you just love this? I’ve been aware GVN for a few years. I’d like to do something with the blog the weekend of October 16th-17th to participate in Eat So They Can. Any ideas about what Mrs. Q can do?
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4 Responses to Guest blogger: Eat So They Can

  1. Candy Morrison September 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I am right on board with you about school lunches needing to be better. I started last year packing my kids' lunches for this very reason.

    But I wonder just how many people are aware that school breakfast and lunch are sometimes the ONLY nutrition a child receives. Our county and many others have started "backpacks for feeding kids" program. We collect donated backpacks and food. Then on Fridays the school sends a backpack full of food home with certain kids for the weekend who might not get to eat again until Monday's breakfast otherwise.

    I may not be able to do a program like Eat So They Can, but I can donate my kids' backpacks from last year. I can donate food when I clean out my pantry. Sometimes the biggest things you can do are right in your own backyard.

  2. Anonymous September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    This is excellent. Thank you Mrs. Q! I did not realize how bad the school lunches are at my daughters school until she asked me to have lunch with her at her school for her birthday. The food awful. I actually felt sick after I ate it. She has been taking her lunch to school since then.

  3. Amanda September 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    I might actually do this Eat So They Can thing. I love cooking and hosting a dinner party to raise money for a good cause sounds like it would be a lot of fun!

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