By Robin Plotkin, RD
Photo Credit: Joy Zhang
Welcome to my #TBT.
In 2011, I volunteered at Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters boot camp in Dallas as a part of the North Texas Food Bank program. We were working with at-risk kids at Trinity River Mission in West Dallas. In addition to teaching the kids how to prepare quesadillas, we led an activity that challenged the kids to learn the names of different fruits and vegetables and to also identify the parts—root, leaf, stem, seed, etc.
Early in my career, I worked for the North Texas Food Bank and Share Our Strength as a Nutrition Education Manager. For five years, I saw, day after day, the impact of hunger in our community. Hunger for food in the bellies and hunger in their hearts for love and attention. When I left the Food Bank, I continued to support the mission any way I could but the reality was that I had started a new job, gotten married and had a kid. My time wasn’t my own. I could hardly get myself together in those days. Tweeting, posting on FB and attending events are support-yes, I know. Volunteering for this event in 2011 was one of the last times I can remember actually donating my time and expertise to the cause.
When I look at the picture, I can easily zoom in on my messy hair in a clip, my double chin or the fact that I’d probably worn that shirt three times that week. Instead, I look squarely at my face and see the pure joy in my smile. I know it’s real. I’m at my best when I’m with these kids-talking about food and the importance of good nutrition. Selfish? Perhaps.
More than 16 million kids in America live in households that struggle to put food on the table.
That’s 1 out of 5 kids.
1 out of 5 kids. I’m not doing enough.
And that’s about to change.