No Kid Hungry - Taste of the Nation
The United States -- known as the land of opportunity-- has long been revered as the place to realize your greatest aspirations. America was built on the principle that all men are created equal; and thereby are endowed unalienable rights among these is the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, there is a great dissonance between this idealized perception of America and the harsh reality of our society. For many Americans the American dream is a distant fantasy, as millions of citizens fail to secure one of the most basic of human needs: food.
An alarming 15.6 million American household currently face food insecurity. This translates to 1 in 8 households being unable to provide food for their family at some point through the year. While no one should know the pain of hunger, the effects of malnutrition as a result of food insecurity is especially detrimental to children. Although kids look just like miniature adults, there are various fundamental physical difference between children and adults. Children are growing and developing, and consequently have a special set of nutritional requirements. Furthermore, children have a higher metabolic rate, thus requiring a higher caloric intake than adults. Numerous studies have suggested that skipping meals is associated with decreased cognitive performance for children, ultimately resulting in diminished academic success. Moreover, eating behaviors in early childhood have a powerful impact on children’s food preferences in adulthood. Thereby it is vital that children receive a balanced diet from a young age because patterns established in childhood are extremely difficult to break later on in life, essentially, perpetuating poor health. In the wake of this epidemic it is of the utmost importance to not stand idle, but instead we must be proactive.
Thankfully, generous philanthropic pursuits, such as the No Kid Hungry campaign, provide everyone with the to take part in the stand against child hunger. The No Kid Hungry campaign seeks to end childhood hunger in the United States. No Kid Hungry Dinners and Taste of the Nation events, held in 20 cities across the country, unite people who share the common goal of helping children in need. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $100 million.
On Wednesday, April 17th, I attended NYC’s Taste of the Nation held at the Brooklyn Expo Center, supported by corporate sponsors Citibank and Sysco. I sampled delicious gourmet treats from more than 40 of New York’s best chefs. The event also feature drinks created by top sommeliers and mixologists. All of the dishes were spectacular, some personal favorites included the burger by Don Wagyu, the sashimi topped with caviar by Shuko NYC, and miniature chocolate cupcakes by Georgetown cupcakes. Up-beat music filled the space creating a vivacious atmosphere. Additionally, a short ceremony was held to honor a few exceptional professionals who work in the NYC educational system. All in all, an very fun and filling event.
Rectifying America’s current food insecurity crisis is absolutely necessary for the progress of our society at large. Every child has a fair shot at achieving the American dream. Through the No Kid Hungry campaign we can fight child hunger while simultaneously enjoying the creations from some of today’s most celebrated chefs.