Press Release

ACF Chefs and Communities Highlight the Plight of Hungry Children on Childhood Hunger Day, October 16

The Chef & Child Foundation, the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF’s) philanthropic arm, is stepping up preparations for Childhood Hunger Day Oct. 16. ACF chapters throughout the country will hold special events to highlight a serious problem—childhood hunger and malnutrition in America.

The facts about childhood hunger are sobering. The Food Research and Action Center reported in 1999 that 29 percent of U.S. children under the age of 12—13.6 million children–are hungry or are at risk of hunger daily. Poor nutrition during any period during childhood can have detrimental effects on cognitive development and adult productivity, according to the Center on Hunger, Poverty, and Nutrition at Tufts University.

ACF’s Chef & Child Foundation has held Childhood Hunger Day since 1995. That year, during the first national awareness campaign, more than 60 chapters hosted awareness campaigns in their hometowns, with mayors and governors bringing the day to the attention of their constituents. In Washington, D.C., national media focused on chefs who gathered to publicize the problem of childhood hunger and malnutrition in America.

Childhood Hunger Day coincides with World Food Day, which began in 1981 and is observed each Oct. 16 to recognize the 1945 founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. World Food Day heightens public awareness of the world food problem and strengthens solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

The following chapters and communities will hold Childhood Hunger Day events:

ACF of Greater Baton Rouge will invite 1,000 children to enjoy a hot meal prepared by local chefs and culinary students Oct. 12. The event will take place on the lawn next to the Old State Capitol from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The children will enjoy space walks, pumpkin carving demonstrations by chapter chefs, face painting, grab bags, musical entertainment, and demonstrations by the Red Cross and the Baton Rouge Fire Department. Complimentary tickets to the meal will be given to children involved in the Battered Womenís Program, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Food Bank, and St. Vincent de Paul Society. The chapter will also hold a 5K run and a 1 mile walk-run to “Stomp out Hunger.”

ACF Professional Chefs Guild of Central New Jersey will hold the 3rd Annual New Jersey Statewide Childhood Hunger Day Forum in Trenton Oct. 16. In 2001, the chapter hosted the second annual forum at the Sovereign Bank Arena, where chapter members were joined by chefs from across the state. The forum brought 160 inner city six- to nine-year-old schoolchildren to the arena to participate in seminars teaching sanitation, how taste works, hands-on cooking, and the importance of nutrition and physical activity.

ACF Jersey Shore Chefs Association will hold the 2nd Annual Driving Out Hunger at Colts Neck Golf Club Monday, Oct. 7. The event includes two on-course cooking stations by chapter chefs and a post-event dine-around. The chapter holds its 8th Annual Childhood Hunger Day Child Feeding in Ocean and Monmouth counties Oct. 16. In each county, a chapter chef will create dishes from USDA commodities made available through the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In 2001, 12 chefs created recipes and prepared enough food for 720 children through the FoodBank. In the eight years of participating in this effort, the chapter has donated funds to buy more than a million pounds of food for programs that feed children.

ACF Midlands Chapter will celebrate Childhood Hunger Day this year at the Columbia River Bank Zoo in Columbia, S.C. More than 200 children will receive a tour of the zoo and lunch. A nutritional education program will feature a seven-foot food pyramid game and a program called “Getting Back to the Grass Root.” ACF Midlands Chapter chefs will discuss farm-grown products. There will also be an animal petting zoo.

ACF Mountain Empire Culinary Association will once again be involved in an educational program for children of the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsport, Tenn. Children look forward every year to chefs demonstrating and involving them in the understanding of proper food choice. The highlight of the event will be a chef demonstration and the tasting of delicious treats that appeal to children.

Six ACF North Carolina chapters will hold a Childhood Hunger Day event on the lawn of the governor’s mansion in Raleigh. The chapters will serve a nutritious breakfast before busing the children to Raleigh, and videos on proper food choices will be shown during the bus ride. In Raleigh, chefs will demonstrate children’s favorite dishes, and the children will enjoy lunch.

ACF Palm Beach County Chefs Association will demonstrate the USDA food pyramid for 100 children in the Palm Beach County School District’s after-care program Oct. 16. The demonstration will be held 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Palm Beach County Courthouse lunchroom in West Palm Beach. Chapter members will be on hand to explain the food pyramid and offer nutritional snacks. Each student will receive a chef’s toque, apron, and literature about good nutritional eating habits. Palm Beach County commissioners will present a proclamation declaring Oct. 16 Childhood Hunger Day in the county.

ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks Association has observed Childhood Hunger Day for the past seven years. This year, chapter members will be at Eggleston School in South Bend, Ind. Chef George Albiez, program coordinator, has been working with the school and Ivy Tech State College to ensure another successful program.

“It’s great to have the cooperation of the South Bend Community School system and Ivy Tech,” said Chef Albiez. “We have a lot of (Ivy Tech) students who want to participate, and with the support of our apprentices and chef members, we hope to be able to accommodate even more kids in the program than before. There’s such a drastic need that we want to reach as many kids as we can.”

About the Chef & Child Foundation
The American Culinary Federation Chef & Child Foundation, Inc. focuses on the nutritional development of America's children in all economic segments. The purpose of the foundation is to foster, promote, encourage, and stimulate an awareness of proper nutrition in preschool and elementary schoolchildren. Eradicating hunger among children is of utmost importance to the organization and its supporters. Through education, community involvement, and fund raising, the Chef & Child Foundation believes it can make a difference.

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Contact: Kay Orde
(800) 624-9458