We’re Giving Back. And YOU are too !

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It’s the beginning of November, and you know what that means. In a few weeks, you’ll be going home to eat. And most likely, EAT A LOT of really good food. Of course, you’ll also be thinking about everything you’re grateful for and how best to give back to your community.

That’s what Thanksgiving is all about – celebrating and being thankful for the bounty of food and love around us. Despite being a land of plenty, people in America still struggle with hunger on a daily basis; 1 in 6 people in the United States experience difficulty getting food.

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FoodToEat is founded on the principle of giving back to the community, and we want to give you – our loyal customers – an even bigger role in helping us achieve this. Starting November, we’ll be taking the 10 cent fee we charge restaurants from every order you place and donating it directly to The Food Bank for NYC to help feed the hungry. With just 20 cents (that’s only 2 orders from your favorite restaurant!), you can provide a meal to a person in need.

This isn’t just a November Thanksgiving special either. Our community keeps us afloat and we’ll keep this policy in place as a small token of appreciation for all the support. We’re committed to sustainability – for our vendors, our consumers, and ultimately, our community at large.

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So keep ordering from your favorite places. You’ll be helping to feed others at the same time.

Thanks again for your support.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

State Department Launches American Chef Corps to Promote Diplomacy

The newest tactic the American State Department will use in diplomacy with foreign politicians and dignitaries involves appealing to their sense of taste. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has begun working with some of the nation’s best chefs to offer their services to foreign ambassadors and use their culture and cuisine to bring them together.

On Friday, the State Department will induct over 80 chefs into the first ever American Chef Corps, a group of food experts that will represent America in foreign countries, prepare meals for visiting dignitaries and host international culinary experts in their kitchens. Forging educational programs will also be a goal of this elite group of chefs, as culinary experts from 25 countries prepare to visit Washington, New York, San Francisco, the Midwest and New Orleans to gain insight into American food culture in a special State Department program.

Secretary Clinton has long believed in the power of food in addressing diplomats from foreign countries. This new initiative is part of her new “smart power” philosophy of using “every diplomatic tool at our disposal,” said U.S. Chief of Protocol Caprica Penavic Marshall. Marshall was White House Secretary when Clinton was still first lady, and it was there they began to focus on the importance of food in person-to-person diplomacy.

Previously the United States focused heavily on French food and expensive catering menus for its overseas guests. Now each guest is getting a degree of individual attention from the State Department. In February a Chinese-American chef named Ming Tsai was recruited to prepare a special luncheon for Chinese Vice Presidents Xi Jinping. The chef created a new Chinese and American “fusion” menu including an “eight treasured rice packet” with many flavors and gingered Swiss chard. Similarly, to serve British Prime Minister David Cameron, Chef April Bloomfield was recruited, owner of New York restaurant Spotted Pig and born in England.

“By showcasing the best of American cuisine and creativity, we can show our guests a bit about ourselves,” Marshall said. “Likewise, by incorporating elements of our visitor’s culture, we can demonstrate respect and a desire to connect and engage.” Appealing to a foreign ambassador’s specific country of origin shows that the United States actively cares about other cultures.

The chefs that have already prepared special meals or served in a diplomatic program are being given the title of State Chefs, as well as a navy jacket with the American flag and their names embroidered in gold. Chef Jose Andres earned his by cooking for the 50th anniversary of the department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms. Andres stood out by serving Louisiana Gulf Shrimp as a sign of support to the fishermen still struggling from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Several other chefs including two former Top Chef Contestants will be honored.

Chef Mike Isabella was featured on Top Chef, originates from Washington and will be the first State Chef appointed to represent American food culture abroad. Originally travelling to Greece and Turkey to research flavors for an upcoming restaurant, he will now visit embassies and restaurants as a culinary ambassador as well.

“I just think food is the best way to bring people together,” he said. “Even if we don’t understand what we’re saying across the table from each other, we understand how happy we are when we’re sitting down together.”

Raising food concerns as a foremost topic can help to change the current dialogue about hunger and food consumption. Hunger levels are high internationally and within this country, as well as obesity and food sourcing concerns. Chef’s can now take a stand and contribute to these discussions in a positive manner.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

2.5 Million New Yorker’s Have Trouble Affording Enough Food

Startling news came in from the USDA today about hunger and poverty rates in New York City. The survey measured results from 2008 and 2010, and found that 2.5 million New Yorkers couldn’t afford enough food, a 50 percent increase from a similar survey taken from 2005 and 2007. The data goes deeper to note that 702,000 state residents are classified as officially going hungry, while one in seven cannot afford food at some point in a given year. These results are higher than any ever recorded before, and mark a severe problem in New York.

According to the USDA, numbers leveled off in 2010 after a three year drop, but have taken a turn for the worse. High levels of funding for state-sponsored programs may have accounted for less hunger in recent years, but recent budget cuts may have reversed this. In 2010 President Obama and Congress cut federal funding for food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries by 40% nationwide (and in New York City).

Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger said “This is the highest level of state hunger since the government started counting it. This new data proves that, over the last few years, millions of New Yorkers were at the edge of an economic cliff, with many falling off into hunger but some barely hanging on with the aid of government nutrition programs”.

New Yorker’s inside and outside of the food industry can help to rectify this situation. Nonprofits organizations are always looking for volunteers, like the Hot Bread Kitchen, which offers training to low income women to develop their own businesses. Other organizations like City Harvest work to collect excess food from restaurants and deliver them to those in need. With hunger rates rising and government programs declining, more weight than ever falls upon our efforts and those of nonprofits to keep our city full.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com