do good. eat good. take three.

‘Tis the season to help, right?

The majority of us have the good fortune to dine out, shop our local grocers and markets, and even grow our own eats. Something we may even take for granted. We read about food. We value and appreciate food. We know the importance of eating right (most of the time anyway), asking questions and paying attention to where our food comes from. Sadly I believe we are still in the minority, though thanks to continuous efforts of many on a local and national front, the greater nation appears to be catching on.

Perhaps the biggest issue here is that many of the people making poor food choices are also making them for their kids. Kids who are growing up on fast food and processed crap. Kids that can’t recognize a tomato from a potato. Kids that are becoming plagued with juvenile diabetes. And kids that represent the first generation not expected to outlive their parents.

Of course there are a lot of factors contributing to this dilemma. And there are varying perspectives on what to do about it. We’re not going to easily solve the problem, but we can start today by trying to make a difference right here in our community.

We can help 4th graders in Cleveland learn about food. Learn about farming. And understand where their meals come from and the benefits of making smart choices early on. And then they can take that newfound excitement and knowledge home to their parents and start a conversation about what they eat and begin to make better choices as a family.

Once again I’m asking each of you to help me help these kids, teachers and their caregivers. Help them learn and begin to make better choices right now. And ultimately, help their overall health and well-being.

Now in its third year, Cleveland Foodie is raising funds for Veggie U. If you’re new to this program, Veggie U is a national program that promotes the well-being of children through a healthy lifestyle with a focus on making wise food choices, combating adolescent and juvenile disease, and attaining an understanding of sustainable agriculture. The program provides a complete kit and lesson plans to teachers to help educate their students through hands-on, fun curricula. There are 157 participating classrooms in our area and each kit costs $225. At the end of the program, students understand the connection between agriculture, good nutrition and the culinary arts.

To date, we have raised a total of $7,840 and helped save the program within Cleveland schools.

Would you consider helping once again? Do you have an extra $5 to donate? I know it’s a costly time of the year and that we’re not in the best of economic times. But if you can donate, and believe in this cause and thus the bigger picture (and if you’re a regular reader, I’m willing to bet you do) then I strongly encourage you to consider supporting Veggie U.

Like previous years, if you donate just $5 to Veggie U, you will automatically be entered to win more than $2,000 worth of gift cards to all your favorite eateries and shops. Want to increase your odds? Donate $10, $25, $50 or more. For every $5 you donate, you will earn another entry into the drawing. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning.

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR: Based on feedback, I decided to mix things up a bit. Instead of one person walking away with all the goods, I’m going to evenly split the certificates into three groups allowing for three lucky do-gooders to have a very delightful holiday season. You have from now until December 23rd at NOON to donate and be entered. Three winners will be picked using random.org on the 24th.

HOW TO DONATE: It’s easy – just call 419.499.7500 M-F, 9a.m. – 5 p.m.; you must reference Cleveland Foodie. OR, you can now donate online right here, 24/7.

This fundraising effort would not be possible without the generosity and support of our local chefs, restaurants and local businesses. I may sound like a broken record, but we live in the best city where nearly everyone is always so quick to help and pitch in and take care of others without a second thought. To those that donated, once again I can’t thank you enough. Truly.

To kick things off, we will donate $100 (which will not be counted towards the gift cards). Remember, the more you donate, the greater chance you have. Thank you for your consideration and good luck! And please, spread the word. Let’s see if we can exceed previous years and make 2012 a year of healthy, local eats.

Three incredibly lucky diners will spend 2012 eating and drinking their way throughout Cleveland:

Thank you for taking the time to read this and cheers for a wonderful holiday season!

8 Comments

  1. AllisonS
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for organizing this again this year!

  2. fergusonsarah
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks for giving fantastic ideas!

  3. LauLau81
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    This is important for every health of people and I thank you for the concerned you have shown here…

  4. cklenotic
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for doing this again! Just donated.

  5. live2cookathome
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to see so many restaurants get involved in this year after year!

  6. JessicaRachelJohnson
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Happy to support such a great cause. Thanks for spreading the word!

  7. heatha262
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely love this. What a great cause.

  8. Posted December 21, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    it’s nice to support such event with a great cause.

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