The reason why I started writing, and blogging, was to be able to impact others in a positive way.
The fact that blogging has the ability to give your words access to millions of readers through means of the Internet blew my mind – it was as simple as writing a post draft, editing it, and then BOOM! With the click of a single button, there you have it – your post published for literally the whole world to see.
Over dinner with Juan last Friday, I described my vision to him.
I knew I wanted my words to have an impact on those who have a brush with them, however fleeting, and I’m grateful that finally, as we ease into this New Year, I have the chance to do so.
As a food blogger (a person who writes a blog focused on food), my worries are more about what different, intriguing recipes I can introduce to those who read Dish by Dish. I’m not preoccupied about having enough money to buy food for dinner; nor do I live from meal to meal. When I’m at the supermarket, I may complain about rising food prices, but I don’t often have to think twice to add vegetables or meats to my cart.
And similarly, I assume that most of us while we may have our own personal financial struggles to deal with, we have enough to eat at least three meals a day.
However, the harsh reality is that not everyone is as fortunate. A few weeks ago, Nicole from Eat This Poem (and who also is the founder of The Giving Table ) announced that this year the mission was to feed South Africa, and that food bloggers were encouraged to spread the message by donating a blog post. I jumped at the opportunity, because it was exactly in line with my life’s goal – I could make an impact in the lives of others through my writing!
When I went further to read more about the current campaign, The Lunchbox Fund (a fund aimed at feeding South Africa), the statistics shocked me.
I was horrified to realize that 65% of children in South Africa live in poverty, and 4 million children aren’t eating a simple school lunch. For those who get to eat lunch at school, that may often be their only meal of the day. This lack of food can diminish concentration, erode willpower, and strip away their potential. Combine that with the fact that nearly 20% of all South African children are orphans, with approximately 1.9m of these children orphaned due to HIV and AIDS, and it’s natural that a child’s attendance and performance at school is severely jeopardized.
This is a reality that while very distinct from mine, actually exists and is the reality for so many of these children in South Africa.
While I’m thankful that I’ve never had to experience this reality, I’m saddened to hear about these children, and I imagine that for those who live wondering where their next meal will come from, it must be a living nightmare.
Being a food blogger, I cook on an almost-daily basis, photograph the food I cook and then later write about it. I cannot imagine a life without an abundance of food to choose from. But for these young children who live in a perpetual state of hunger, it must be difficult to think about anything more complex (such as life goals and getting an education) than their next plate of food.
The Lunchbox Fund’s motto is thus very befitting – “Feed a child. Nourish a mind.”
Founder Topaz Page-Green was born and raised in South Africa, and the fund was birthed forth when she saw a group of school children sitting separately from their peers during lunch – the reason being that this group did not have food to eat for lunch and did not want to be tempted by the food of their peers. Please take a few minutes to watch the video of these children here, and if you’re like me, your heart will ache for them.
Imagine these children, wait scrap that. Imagine a single child walking to school hungry, unable to concentrate and with a huge belly ache the only thing on his mind. How will this child ever be able to remember multiplication tables or how to spell “university” (much less aim to make it to college) if he is too hungry to focus on anything else?
The Fund’s goal is to raise $5,000 to provide a daily meal to 100 South African school children for an entire year.
I’m proud to be part of this collective movement to better the lives of these children, or maybe just one child.
According to The Lunchbox Fund, for a hunger-driven child of South Africa, $0.25 can feed him for a day, $10 can feed him for a month, and $120 can feed him for an entire school year!
It’s crazy to imagine that for us, $10 may mean a 2-hour trip to the movies, or a meal at McDonalds, but for these kids, it may mean the difference between having their one single meal a day, and a future through education or not.
Through this link you’ll be able to help these children beat hunger and strive for an education, one by one.
I’ve already donated $10 to the fund, and I strongly urge you to do the same (or at least give whatever little you can afford, or however much your heart tells you to).
Today’s recipe is one that is easy and cheap to make, and I’m sharing it in mind that lunch is an important aspect for our nourishment.
This curried cauliflower rice is a meal that can easily come together within minutes, is grain-free, gluten-free, and also very accessible. I imagine that for many of you, cauliflower (despite being a cheap vegetable) has never been an appetizing vegetable.
But trust me on this – process your cauliflower florets and then stir-fry them with sautéed garlic, curry powder and chopped fresh parsley – and you’ll get a meal that’s economical, tasty and a lovely sight for the eyes.
And as we tuck into this dish, full of color and flavor, please remember that your small (or large) contribution will make a HUGE difference in the lives of the children of South Africa.
Thank you in advance for joining in helping to feed South Africa. May you be blessed!
CURRIED CAULIFLOWER RICE
1) 1 large head of cauliflower
2) 2 large garlic cloves, minced
3) 1 tablespoon of curry powder (or more depending on how spicy you like it)
4) ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
1) Remove the leaves from the cauliflower head and cut it into small florets (removing the stalks)
2) Pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor in small batches until you get a couscous like texture
3) Mince the garlic cloves and sauté garlic in a bit of oil in a large wok on low heat, swirling garlic in oil for about half a minute
4) Once garlic starts turning golden brown, add in the cauliflower couscous and cook it for five minutes, mixing every now and then to prevent it from burning
5) Once cauliflower rice is more or less cooked, sprinkle the curry powder on top and mix well until all the cauliflower rice has evenly turned a bright yellow
6) Garnish with chopped fresh parsley just before serving