No one understands the importance of food better than a chef. For that reason, students working toward a culinary arts certificate online may find themselves wondering what they can do to fight hunger around the globe. While many people take their daily meals for granted, millions of others cannot count on their next dinner. A number of chefs have stepped up to confront this problem.
Serving up dishes for those in need
“Chefs can cook nutritious food for people facing hardships.”
One way for chefs to give back to their communities is by cooking quality, nutritious food for people facing hardships. Some culinary professionals have built entire careers on making donated items into good meals for the homeless at shelters and missions. For instance, as Epicure & Culture explained, Bowery Mission Director of Food Services Gretchen Roth has turned her own restaurant experience into an opportunity to help the needy of New York City.
Other chefs focus on providing a more wholesome alternative to the usual fast food, like California-based chef Roy Choi. His LocoL chain of restaurants provides inexpensive, but tasty and healthful, meals to underserved communities. Patrons dig into delicious and reasonably priced burgers and “foldies” – folded tortillas stuffed with ingredients like beans and cheese or braised beef.
Cutting food waste
Culinary professionals are highly aware of how much perfectly good food simply goes uneaten. The urgent need to address food waste has driven many into action, like Italian chef Massimo Bottura. According to Eater, Bottura used over 15 tons of salvaged food to establish a soup kitchen in 2015, and his international team prepared thousands of meals for those in need.
Dan Barber of the restaurant Blue Hill in New York City, cuts waste through a commitment to farm-to-table dining. He has also brought attention to the issue through pop-up events called WastED. Using ingredients like bruised or ugly produce, stale bread and fish bones, Barber and his team demonstrated the endless possibilities of food that routinely goes into the trash.
Contributing to organizations
Chefs also have a role to play in supporting organizations capable of acting on a larger scale. These activities may take place on a local level, such as donating to pantries or taking part in events like the food festival Feast Portland. Feast draws crowds of dining enthusiasts by featuring great dishes and drinks from the area while also raising money for programs to address childhood hunger in the state.
Chefs can also think bigger and take part in a global movement to ensure sufficient food for everyone. Tasting Table noted that an organization like Action Against Hunger operates around the world to take on the causes of hunger, developing sustainable solutions to bring communities nourishment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
Culinary academy students can become involved in efforts to combat hunger in a variety of ways. Find out what organizations are working to feed people in your area and get in touch to volunteer.