#TalkStew on Tout: How can we support our local food pantries?

On Wednesday, February 8th, 2012, I co-hosted an event “Because We Care” for a local food pantry called, Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry. The event turned to be a huge success where I met my goal of raising at least $1,000 for Loaves & Fishes.

Food is obviously something that I not only enjoy, it’s a passion. My passion for food goes beyond cooking and consuming. I long to learn, grow and help with the talent that God has given me.

Knowing that during these hard economic times, many families are struggling to meet their most basic needs, I approached Jody Bender, Community Manager of Loaves & Fishes and pitched her an idea I had to help raise money for the organization.

I have known Jody through the social circles in our town, and she’s even attended some of my cooking demonstrations at Whole Foods Market. But our meeting was our first personal meeting. And it is a night I will never forget.

Jody greeted me at the Loaves & Fishes offices and pantry and she immediately took me on a tour of the facilities. She showed me the waiting area, where L&F do their best to keep the kids entertained while mom and dad wait their turn in the pantry. And of course, she took me into the pantry where food is rationed to families depending on their family size, dietary needs, etc.

It was easy for me to imagine my family being one of the families who needed their help. And wow, was I moved! Naperville, Illinois is one of the most affluent Chicagoland suburbs, and many may not even think that there would be a need for a food pantry in this area. But there is. So, now after the tour, I was even more adamant about making my idea for an event to raise money more meaningful.

This week on Tout, a new app where the conversation is held over 15 seconds of video (imagine video tweeting), I posted my #TalkStew topic, “What creative ways can you think of to help support your local food pantries?”

As this topic is fresh in my mind and important to me, I want to know, what are YOUR ideas?