Following the devastating India Ocean tsunami of 2004, I founded Chefs for Humanity, modeled after Doctors Without Borders, but comprised of chefs. There wasn't anything out there like it, and there was a definite need for chefs to be able to offer assistance and aid to those suffering from hunger and/or malnutrition worldwide. CFH is an alliance of culinary professionals and educators working in partnership with U.S. and global organizations, providing nutrition education, hunger relief, and emergency and humanitarian aid to reduce hunger across the world. Our Chefs Council and Chefs Corps volunteer their time, expertise, culinary and nutritional knowledge work to support national and worldwide relief programs working to reduce hunger.
Some of the work that Chefs for Humanity has been able to accomplish includes feeding thousands of displaced families following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf. CFH collaborated with the World Food Programme to visit villages destroyed by hurricanes in Nicaragua and Honduras and teaching the Central American natives how to utilize the natural resources they had on hand to support and feed themselves.
In 2010, Chefs For Humanity was personally invited by George Clooney to represent the culinary world at the "Hope For Haiti Now" telethon in Los Angeles, and joined forces with Share our Strength for a 2010 site visit to Haiti post earthquake.
This year, though another Chefs for Humanity visit to Haiti is in the works in alliance with Yele Haiti, I've also set a new goal -- I am climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa this Summer as a personal physical goal for myself, but also as a way to bring on sponsors and raise awareness and funds to help benefit the programs and initiatives of Chefs for Humanity.
Climbing a mountain is the universal analogy to overcoming any great challenge. I have never climbed a mountain before, but I figured, if I'm going to do it, go all the way, and have always been raised to believe that the sky is the limit and there is no end to a woman's worth, so I know that anything is possible. My goal is to climb the highest peak in Africa for hunger. I am going to be reaching out to corporations, individuals, family members, and friends to raise as much money as possible for hunger through Chefs For Humanity. Kilimanjaro is the only free-standing mountain in the world, and it will be one of the biggest challenges of my life.
By reaching out to several partner programs, including 'Feed the Future,' ONE.org, amongst many others, and with the help of anyone and everyone who will give it, I hope to raise enough awareness to provide an ideal platform to address the challenges of both domestic and global hunger -- with the power to inspire millions of Americans to assist in our efforts to overcome these challenges. All proceeds will go to creating sustainable farms and feeding the hungry around the world. I am truly dedicated to the president and First Lady's "Feed the Future" Program, and with their blessing would like 100% of the proceeds to directly benefit this.
Women are innately the care-ivers, the nurturers, but incredibly powerful, and there is a world-wide need for as many of us to offer assistance as we can.
I think about food all the time. It's my passion; it's my profession. But some people think about food all the time because they're hungry. We can put an end to this if we join forces and lend a hand. Please go to www.ChefsforHumanity.org to track my Mt. Kilimanjaro progress, and to see how you can help... and do it before dinner!