Taste of the Nation (TOTN) hit Boston again recently, showering the city with trays of tasty sliders, pink martinis, and some seriously giant bottles of wine in the silent auction.
The annual event, which occurs in cities across the nation, is the “largest and finest culinary benefit supporting the effort to end childhood hunger in America.”
TOTN Boston brings 70 chefs and 30 wineries together for one evening to provide attendees with a smorgasbord of tasty bites and sips. But most importantly, the night is about supporting the need for access to healthful foods in areas of food insecurity. Currently, the Food Research and Action Center reports that 14.2% of US adults and 21.6% of US children are food insecure. These numbers have doubled since 2010.
While you may feel helpless when it comes to addressing food insecurity, there are a number of ways that you can help:
- Donate to a local food bank. Whether you donate food, money, or your time, a little can go a long way.
- Start a food drive at your local church, school, or within a community group. Even though you may be limited to packaged or processed foods, encourage people to donate healthful options like lower sodium soups, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, canned tuna/salmon, or canned beans.
- Participate in a charity walk. The Project Bread Walk for Hunger recently raised $3.6 million here in Boston. 43,000 people came out to walk in support of ending hunger in the US. Get your exercise while you support a great cause.
- Attend a Taste of the Nation Event! Upcoming locations include Hartford, CT, Portsmouth, NH, Portland, ME, Princeton, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Ithaca, NY, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC. If the ticket price is a bit daunting, look into volunteering. Here in Boston, volunteers can buy $25 tickets for just a couple hours of their time before, after, or during the event.
(* Note: I attended TOTN as a member of the press, but we do pay full price for Mike’s ticket. I told him he could get a press ticket when he starts his own blog. He walked away in search of more pulled pork sliders.)
So, what exactly is in store for you at a TOTN event? Glad you asked!
Custom-made Cocktails from Drink
Beef and Pork Meatballs from Jodi Adams at Rialto
Char-grilled Bacon with Avocado Creme on Toast from Andy Husbands at Tremont 647
All local Bean & Grain Pilaf with Sorrel Pesto from Cuisine en Locale (check out their CSA of cooked meals!)
Harpoon’s new Rye IPA, a 100-barrel anniversary series crafted by Harpoon co-founders Rich & Dan
And after imbibing in a couple of those, this is bound to happen.
It’s for the kids! (the charity, not the wine)
TOTN Boston was noticeably smaller than in years past. There were open tables and fewer items at the silent auction. While this may have bothered many attendees who had paid full price for their tickets, I felt lucky as always to attend, but a little worried about what this means for Share Our Strength. Please find a way to support this fantastic organization that does so much to support hunger in our country. Whether you get involved with their fantastic Cooking Matters program, attend an upcoming TOTN event, or purchase a giant bottle of wine, you are literally putting food on the table of someone in need. And that’s the best we can strive to do.
Until we roll out this plan.
If only we were just one box of hams away from a solution.
- The Aspiring RD