Just the other night I was talking about how I wanted to do more than just hashtag the global initiatives and mega charitable organizations my company is affiliated with. Raising dollars at food shows and corporate sponsored silent auctions, and donating food and dry goods from our warehouse that are write off’able are great, but I want to have that indescribable level of humility attached to hands on community outreach. I want to see, feel, and understand firsthand the underserved’s struggle, like I did growing up with my dad years ago when I was little. My dad not only knows about food from running a soul food restaurant when I was an unborn baby, but he also started a grassroots program for the homeless and underserved communities in Charlotte, NC that spiraled into a two decade long tradition at his old church of feeding thousands of homeless families every weekend. That level of commitment and love is immeasurable.
Too many times do I go out to eat and too often do I bask in the enjoyment of a home cooked meal by my own hands, rarely remembering that other smaller population, and considering what life would be like if I wasn’t afforded these second nature luxuries. Just the other week I very randomly purchased a two pound lobster from the seafood section of the grocery store. Mind you, in all my frugal glory, I still only paid $15.. But in many families $15 is a huge luxury and could do so much, and go so far. It’s easy to take these automatic luxuries for granted. Hashtag Lunchbag, an NYC based initiative I just learned about recently by a good friend, both inspired and intrigued me. The $25 I donated on their site is said to have fed 15 people. See how that works? Amazing right? I offered to join as a volunteer, and instantly thought of another organization that I had started researching a while back that I wanted to join after my brother sent me a link – Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation. He has a few programs that fall under the umbrella. One of which is his restaurant – Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen that operates under the premise of pay what you can, or not at all and just volunteer. I absolutely love to see celebrities paying it forward. The smallest gestures in life can go an immeasurably long way. JBJ Soul Kitchen is a very very long way. Awesome to say the least..