It's one of our nation's greatest shames that so many people in this country of abundance go hungry, perhaps most especially during the holidays. Thankfully, while the holiday season can be one of the most crassly commercial displays of consumerism in the year, it can also be a time of outstanding charity and good deeds.
In that spirit, celebrities across the country are stepping up their charitable work during this season of giving to help ensure that fewer American families go hungry this Thanksgiving and beyond. But they can't do it all by themselves. Check out this roundup of who is doing what—and how you can help.
- Rap superstar 50 Cent is donating 250 meals to Feeding America for every set of his new Street by 50 wired in-ear headphones sold via the website of his company SMS Audio. The earbuds are the first in his line of professionally tuned headphones and retail at about $100 on his site.
What you can do: These would be a really great gift for the audiophile on your holiday gift list, so you can shop early and help feed 250 hungry people this holiday!
- In New York City, celebrity chef David Burke is teaming up with Delivery.com to provide gourmet turkey dinners to one City Meals on Wheels center in New York, ensuring that the elderly and homeless who depend on meals on wheels for sustenance will be treated to a much fancier meal than they might be expecting. In addition, David Burke Bloomingdales is selling a complete take away Thanksgiving dinner, including the turkey and all the sides, through his website, and five of these meals—enough to feed 50 people—will be donated for every 10 sold on the website.
What you can do:Order a ready-made meal for your Thanksgiving feast, and help provide meals for people who otherwise wouldn't have one.
- Amy Roloff, from "Little People, Big World" on TLC, has started the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, supporting at-risk youth and families across the country. Proceeds from her cookbook, Short and Simple Family Recipes, go to benefit the foundation, which will be feeding families this Thanksgiving.
What you can do: Buy the book! Proceeds from her cookbook sales go to support her foundation's charitable work.
- The Food Network’s "Extreme Chef" winner, chef Terry French, has been going out to Rockaway Beach, one of the hardest hit areas during Hurricane Sandy, to provide victims with food, supplies, and provisions that have been inaccessible to them since the storm hit last month. He's collecting canned goods, supplies, and monetary donations to help "Shore up the Shore." So far, he has set up a mobile kitchen to feed more than 1,000 people at a time, and plans to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for residents affected by the storm.
What you can do: If you're in the NYC area, you can donate food and supplies directly to the "Shore up the Shore" project; everywhere else, you can donate through the group's Indigogo campaign.
If none of these options strikes your fancy, never fear! You can support Feeding America directly through a virtual food drive. Celebrity chef Mario Batalli (famous for taking the Food Stamp Challenge to try to feed his family on the food stamp budget of $31 per week) has teamed up with Feeding America to encourage people to host their own virtual food drives.
Participants can set up their own donations page through FeedingAmerica.org and then encourage friends and family to contribute via their social media networks.
Unfortunately, people are hungry all year long, not just at the holidays, and any funds you raise through your virtual food drive will help combat that hunger year-round.
image by controltheweb