Food Bloggers Changing the World: Peace, Love and French Fries

The month of December always reminds me of how much we have and others don’t. It also reminds me of how many are not engaged in paying it forward or giving back. So, throughout this month I want to tell you about a few of those who are.

Last month I put out the call to food bloggers to tell me if they were using their blogs in some way to give back to others – several answered the call. These are regular people, just like you and me. They are not rich – by any political party’s definition. What they are, are people who were inspired to do something, little or small to help others.

In February, Lindsay Neuner, the author of Peace, Love and French Fries began her Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is campaign. Each month she chooses a charity to benefit and she gives that charity – out of her own pocket – $.01 for every page view her blog receives that month and $.50 for every comment. So far, she’s given back more than $540.

Lindsay told me if she had planned her charitable giving at the beginning of the year she never would have budgeted so much – she simply didn’t think she could afford it. But she discovered that by giving $40, $50, $60, even $75 per month it was actually possible. Giving back is “more doable than most of us realize” she said. “If you “break it up, it’s not overwhelming.”

Lindsay’s efforts don’t stop at making a donation. She spends hours pouring over newspaper ads and cutting coupons to make her donation stretch as far as possible. In July she donated $76.49 for a school supply drive. With her savvy shopping she used that $76.49 to buy:

• 108 pencils
• 8 boxes of crayons
• 24 glue sticks
• 6 boxes of colored pencils
• 5 boxes of markers
• 66 erasers
• 4 backpacks
• 33 notebooks
• 58 folders
• 16 packages of loose-leaf paper
• 8 1-inch binders
• 9 scissors
• 6 composition notebooks
• 13 rulers
• 8 bottles of glue
• 16 highlighters
• 100 black and blue pens
• 60 mechanical pencils

With $76.49can you believe it!?!

Others have been inspired by Lindsay’s efforts and matched her donations, multiplying the difference she’s already started to make. When I spoke with Lindsay, she said many things that stuck with me but the most poignant was this: “Everyone has $.49 under the couch and that buys a hungry person a can of peas.”

Every little bit really does make a difference. Carry an extra dollar to give to the homeless person on the side of the road. Give your take-out leftovers to the hungry guy on the corner. After talking with Lindsay and others, I passed a homeless woman on my way to the Farmer’s Market – I bought my favorite market indulgence – a cherry strudel and gave it to her (with $5) telling her that she looked like she needed a treat – a huge smile lit up her face and I knew that though it didn’t solve her housing or hunger issues, that moment of indulgence made her life a little bit better if only for a moment – it also improved mine.

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8 Responses

  1. Great contributions and giving to those in need is always a blessing!

  2. Thanks for the inspirational reminder. Hopefully people enjoy what you end up saying about me and my team’s fight against cancer.

    Jason

  3. This was really touching. I so admire these small acts of kindness and giving, and I’m glad you brought this sweet blogger to my attention. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope the rest of your week is full of joy, giving and love!

  4. Sarah I love this idea!!! We donate to many charities and are always looking for new ones or new ideas. I might start this too!

    I also came over to ask, do you have a Facebook account? I’m always logged in over there, if not on my blog. If so please add me! http://www.facebook.com/TheCookingPhotographer is my page.

    I hope all is well your way. It’s freakin busy as all hell here! Yikes!

    Can one take a vacation from December?

    Laura

  5. Lindsay is one seriously amazing lady and bargain shopper. I also love that your did such a sweet thing for that homeless lady – I am so inspired to do something similar when faced with the same situation.

    Thank you for making me think – this is the reason I love reading your blog!

  6. Wow! That is absolutely fantastic! What a fresh breath of air!

  7. I think being in the food business I tend to think about hunger more than others. During all my years in foodservice one rule always stayed the same, never refuse to feed anyone who asks, and offer those that don’t. I try to convey this feeling to my girls, they know how to give, the Mount teaches them to be responsible. But a reminder never hurts. As we enjoy our blogs and our posts coming up with extra food just to post about, there are those who don’t have anything to eat. We need to remember that. what ever way you can help, is more than not helping at all.
    As for school supplies being married to a teacher, I learned right away how rough that is. Part of her birthday present each year are containers of school supplies for her class and others.
    We do what we can do….
    Thanks for a great post!
    Dennis

  8. Thanks so much for the wonderful write up Sarah! Small acts of kindness can make a difference, and thank you for helping to bring attention to that.

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