Drew Robinson is the pitmaster at Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. He previously wrote about why barbecue matters.
My friend John Egerton told me once that sometimes when people have lost a loved one or are in despair all you can do is take them a bowl of potato salad and tell them you’re sorry.
He went on to say, emphatically, that there is great power in that sort of action. John spoke specifically about Southern foodways at that moment, but there was a universal truth in his message. I know from personal experience on the receiving end that is true and it is even more powerful when that compassion is delivered in numbers.
Johnny B. Goode, indeed.
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi recently announced the opening of JBJ Soul Kitchen, a pay-what-you-can community kitchen with the tagline "Where HOPE Is Delicious."
A link on Bon Jovi's website solicits donations for the effort, saying, "Soul Kitchen is a community restaurant with no prices on the menu; but a donation of $10 covers the cost of your three course meal. If you are unable to pay, come back and volunteer. Your donation will help us continue our mission of serving nutritious dinners in a warm and welcoming setting, where families can come and meet their neighbors."
People in Schoharie County take care of their own; they've always had to. While there's no shortage of bucolic beauty - rolling fields dappled with grass-munching livestock, lurid-leaved trees throughout the autumn and all the weathered Victoriana an antiques or architecture enthusiast could care to gawk at - it's just a bit too far, a bit too isolated and a bit too run down for most outsiders to bother with. For over two hundred years, residents have quietly and steadfastly gone about the business of raising families, supporting their community and feeding the rest of the New York State.
Schoharie is a breadbasket county of 626 square miles, providing milk, corn, fruit, vegetables and meat to the surrounding area, as well as markets and restaurants all the way down to New York City, roughly a four hour drive away. All that is in peril after Tropical Storm Irene unleashed its fury upon the East Coast, engorging the bodies of water that snake through upstate New York, and washing away cars, homes, businesses, lives and livelihoods.
The smoky aroma of chicken and sausage gumbo fills the air inside Café Reconcile. A moist, tender pot roast emerges from the oven while the timid hands of novice knife holders chop onions and peppers.
It’s two hours before lunch time inside Café Reconcile and Chef Joe Smith sounds like an old-gospel preacher filled with the Holy Spirit teaching a small group of young men and women how to bring New Orleans-style food to life.
“It’s called soul food because there was no measuring, they just knew how they felt,” Chef Joe tells his captivated audience as they prepare the day’s lunch menu. “I feel it!”
But this isn’t your ordinary New Orleans kitchen. Chef Joe isn’t just teaching the mechanics of cooking. This is the kitchen of life.
Photo credit: Aminu Abubakar/AFP/Getty Images
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is reporting live from Somalia with more on the disturbing hunger situation. "AC360º" is now at 8 and 10 ET weeknights on CNN.
It has a funny sounding name. So funny in fact, that you might be tempted to not take it seriously. It's called Plumpy’Nut.
The kids here in Somalia just call it Plumpy. If you have never heard of it, you probably have never truly been hungry or lived in a country where malnutrition is prevalent. It has been called a magic potion, as big a development as penicillin, and is widely credited with single-handedly lowering mortality rates from famine in Africa.
Egg farmers nationwide will be donating nearly 12 million eggs this Easter to help America's food banks. iReporter Chris Morrow visited Feeding America San Diego when they received 86,000 of the eggs slated to feed the county.
Opelika, Alabama (CNN) - At the Community Market food bank, two small alcoves - each with three chairs and a desk - are used for interviewing potential clients.
At the desk closest to the front door, Michael Davis sits across from an elderly woman with thick glasses. Dottie Battle is a volunteer at the food bank, and she asks for Davis' identification. He reaches into a worn Ziploc bag, pulls out his driver's license and social security card, and hands them to her.
Battle asks for his gas, electric and telephone bills, and Davis also pulls them from the same bag. Then Battle asks Davis if he has applied for food stamps, a requisite for this program. He shakes his head "no."
"You need the food stamps," Battle says firmly. "You need them badly. And we will need proof that you went and applied for them before you come back. ...You know that, you've shopped here before."
Read the full story: "Rising food prices could drive up rates of hunger"
The Super Bowl is around the corner and, as is custom, many Americans will be chowing down on pizza.
But it's a little harder for service men and women thousands of miles away to order a slice–and that's where Mark Evans comes in. Evans is the Founder of Pizza 4 Patriots, an organization which delivers pizza to America's service men and women overseas. In partnership with UNO and DHL, Pizza 4 Patriots will be sending 7,000 pizzas to service members on Super Bowl Sunday.
Read the rest of "Operation Pizza Bowl: Bringing pizza to patriots on game day" on CNN's American Morning blog.