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Hunger Action Week

Just a couple of months ago, I was asked to judge a Top Chef Challenge. It was such a fun and rewarding event led by acclaimed Seattle Chef and entrepreneur Tom Douglas and supporting the United Way of King County’s mission to take action and end hunger. Proceeds from the guests totaled nearly $100,000. This event was a Top Chef Executive Contest using food that can be found at food banks. Local executives competed with the help of Tom Douglas Restaurant’s chefs to prepare the best dishes. The winning team was team 2 made up of Audrey Jones Spence, executive chef of Serious Pie and Fred Devereux, west region president, AT&T.

Here are the teams.

Team 1

Jonah Smith, executive soux chef, Tom Douglas Restaurants

Kimberly Harris, president and CEO of Puget Sound Energy

Food prepared: chicken bites

Team 2

Audrey Jones Spence, executive chef, Serious Pie

Fred Devereux, west region president, AT&T

Food prepared: potato latkes

Team 3

Matt Anderson, chef, Tom Douglas Catering

Maud Daudon, president and CEO, Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation

Food prepared: chicken schnitzel

Team 4

Stacy Fortner, executive pastry chef, Tom Douglas Restaurants

Eric Johnson, news anchor, KOMO 4 TV

Food prepared: gnocchi, rice pudding, peanut butter cookies

photo credit: Jake Monderen

All this led up to Hunger Action Week coming up soon (March 19 to March 24). You can decide to take the hunger challenge by trying to spend only 7$ a day on food. Do you want to take the challenge? Here is a little information that United Way of King County has provided about the hunger challenge.

What are the rules?
• Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, spending only $7 a day (or more if your household is larger (see table below). We chose these amounts because they are the maximum food benefits that people can get on Basic Food. While Basic Food is designed to be a supplement to food budgets, the reality is that many rely solely on their benefits for food because they don’t have enough money to handle food as well as all the other life expenses that they need to take care of.
• Don’t forget to factor in seasonings (except salt & pepper), cooking oils, condiments, snacks, drinks, and everything in between
• Don’t use food you already own
• Don’t’ accept food from family, friends, co-workers and others. Not even free samples from Costco!
• Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day
• Keep track of your expenses, your recipes, and share your experiences on your blog. You can also let us know how it’s going on Facebook and Twitter @UnitedWayKC hashtag: #hungerfreekc

I’d like to emphasize that the rules are made to be guidelines. The point is to get people thinking about the challenge of hunger in everyday life, not necessarily to mimic hunger. Please feel free to use these rules but also feel free to modify them as you think is best – for example if you just want to do the challenge one or two days, etc.

This table shows how much allowance you’re allowed depending on family size:

Household Size Hunger Challenge Budget
1 $7 per day/$35.00 per week
2 $12 per day/$60.00 per week
3 $18 per day/$90.00 per week
4 $22 per day/$110.00 per week
5 $26 per day/$130.00 per week
6 $32 per day/$160.00 per week
7 $35 per day/$175.00 per week


2 responses to “Hunger Action Week”

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