Tag Archives: Go Orange for No Kid Hungry

Fun Friday: Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal from Budget Bytes

23 Nov
This has been a delicious treat all week long!

This has been a delicious treat all week long!


Going Orange for No Kid Hungry today? We are!

In honor of the big day, I thought I’d share a brand new recipe with you that we tried earlier this week and enjoyed very much.

Over the weekend we celebrated our daughter’s 16th birthday, and at the gathering my cousin Val handed me a couple of recipes she thought we’d enjoy. One of them was today’s recipe from Budget Bytes for their Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal.

Oftentimes when I look at a recipe for consideration, the title tells it all, and this recipe was one of those times. I knew that we loved baked oatmeal, and I knew that we loved pumpkin pie. I knew that we would love this recipe. I had plenty of each of the ingredients on hand, in fact, when I saw that a basic recipe makes an 8×8 dish, I decided to double it for our family, so I did, and I used a 9×13 dish instead.

Photo's a little blurry, but I doubled this recipe so we'd have plenty to last the week.

I doubled this recipe so we’d have plenty to last the week.

I chose to make this recipe for Monday’s after school snack, knowing that Tuesday and Wednesday are my typing days which means I don’t have a ton of time to eat or cook anything. I eat at my desk usually, typing in between bites and when the kids come home from school, they’re on their own for finding food to satisfy their ravenous hunger. This would last me through both days and provide hungry kids with a choice for something to eat if they wanted it for after school or for breakfast one morning.

Everyone loved this recipe, it was tasty, it was filling and it was easy. I saw that it recommended whipped cream or maple syrup as well as milk or nuts. We went the maple syrup and whipped cream route and loved it. My oldest daughter even thought that caramel would be good on top, and I’m sure it would be, but I nixed that idea this time around, just because it would negate any of the healthy aspects of it.

I also used homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice because apparently I’ve been out of that in my cupboard for quite some time. I know this because when I opened up my cupboard, not only was there none there, but there was a note taped to the inside of the door-most likely from last fall- for a recipe from allrecipes.com for Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice. I doubled that recipe and it was exactly enough for what I needed to double this oatmeal recipe.

Monday Musings: Go Orange teaches so many lessons

26 Oct
We're just a few people here at our house, but we're looking to make a big difference.

We’re just a few people here at our house, but we’re looking to make a big difference.

If you have been reading The Whole Bag of Chips for a long time, you know all about our kids’ Go Orange citywide food drive. If you haven’t, you can read about it on the Go Orange page on my blog. In a nutshell though, a few years back our kids were watching TV and saw a commercial for going orange and having food drives for No Kid Hungry. One of them said, “We should do that here!” and I said, “Go ahead!” And they did. It’s been their project all along, from contacting the schools to contacting the mayor’s office, to creating posters and flyers. Although we as adults are here to facilitate and offer advice if needed, this has been their “thing” from Day One, and it continues to be their thing.

This year though, it is their third year running the food drive, and it’s a little bit different. Each daughter is old enough to have their own email address now, so they really can each take an active role in being the ones to reach out and make the contact with all of these people. The first year, only our oldest had an email, so she did all the emailing even though they all worked together to formulate the emails. They all made posters, they all participated, but she communicated out. Now, we’re splitting the tasks so that they each get to contact someone, or several someones, in regards to their food drive.

In that, I’ve had a realization of just what a learning experience this is for them. And I don’t mean just about hunger and poverty and statistics. It’s all that too, and that in itself is so incredibly powerful, but I mean that this has been such a hands-on lesson for them in communication skills, and in spearheading something bigger than they are, which can be put to use long into their future lives and careers. As I have been overseeing the communications to the community with three different kids of differing ages and abilities, I’ve been struck by the educational lessons they’re learning “on the job,” and how they’re also applying their learned classroom skills with our Go Orange drive.

I’ve watched in awe as my oldest used her newly acquired Digital Media Class skills and talents to create this year’s flyer. I’ve helped my youngest formulate the “friendly letter” email to the Assistant Superintendent as she inquired as to whether or not this event and its corresponding flyer was approved for 2015. I’ve reminded my second daughter to check for responses from the 23 school administrators she contacted about this year’s event and to respond back if necessary. Although it’s not seamless–they’re still kids–they’re still learning as they go and they’re doing a great job. They make posters every year, and after the first year they knew all the important “who, what, when, where, why and how” information to put on them.

I’m proud of the girls for coming up with their plan for Go Orange three years ago, and I’m so glad that it’s still going strong. I’m glad that as it rolls around each year they are each still so enthusiastic about doing it at their school and at our church, and watching it spread and grow each year. It’s a great feeling to see the results of their efforts on the actual day, and to see that although we haven’t solved the problems of poverty and hungry children, we certainly have tried to be part of the solution.

Go Orange!

Giving Tuesday

2 Dec
Focusing on giving and helping others, never a bad thing, no matter what day it is.

Focusing on giving and helping others is never a bad thing, no matter what day it is.

Today is Tuesday.

Not just any Tuesday, but today is known as Giving Tuesday and even has its own hashtag, #Giving Tuesday.

You can read more about Giving Tuesday here.

The idea behind it is a simple one, and it makes me wonder why we didn’t think of this sooner. We have Thanksgiving on Thursday where we give thanks for all we have. We then flow right into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where we shop, shop, shop. (And I’m generalizing here. I know a lot of people don’t utilize those shopping events or may have other plans, but generally those are advertised mega-shopping events.) The premise behind Giving Tuesday is to take a day after all the getting to focus on giving.

I like it.

And the thing is, I don’t have a lot to give, generally. Lots of people don’t have a lot to give. But, lots more people need so much, so many don’t have even the most basic of needs. Although I’ve always had basic needs, we know what it is to struggle. We know what it is to lose a good paying job, to be living check to check or to be unsure how we’re going to pay that bill or this, how we’re going to afford Christmas gifts. We’ve been there, we know. We’re on our feet now, but there are so many who aren’t. Each year the “so many that aren’t” numbers increase, and the need is intense at this time of year. The holidays, the cold weather, it all makes that need exponentially greater.

So what’s the answer?

I’ve found it.

I could give. We can now spare five, ten, twenty dollars…or I can encourage lots of others to give along with me, and increase my giving tenfold. I can find ways to spread the word, to have people work together for a common goal: the goal of helping others.

And that’s also the premise behind Giving Tuesday. If we all give, if we all focus a day on giving, get together and each give a little bit, imagine what a BIG, HUGE difference we can all make together? I can imagine. I’ve seen it happen.

Last spring, I spearheaded Tiffany’s Care Package, a GoFundMe fundraiser to help a high school graduate who’d just lost her mother. Together, we raised over $4,000 for her.

In the fall of 2013 and again in the fall of 2014, our kids spearheaded Go Orange for No Kid Hungry, a citywide food drive, raising over $2,000 and bringing in thousands of non-perishable food items for our local community support agency.

We didn’t do any of these things on our own. Our $20 or our case of canned veggies would’ve been great, but look how much more, how much better things can be when we all work together,our $20 became part of a much larger amount, part of thousands of dollars. Our dozen cans became thousands of food items.

I think about how we used to teach the concept of communities to our primary grades when I was a teacher. We drew a circle and inside was the student. Then we drew another circle around that one. That was our family. Each circle expanded further and further: our neighborhood, our school, our city or town, our state, our country, our world.

Life is like that. You can do a little bit of good on your own, but just imagine how much good we can all do if we expand our circle beyond ourselves, if we all network and connect together to do a whole lot of good. The world is huge, and yet it’s small too, because we can easily connect with those around us, easily spread the word.

So spread the word. Connect the dots. Help someone out. Give what you can, but encourage others to help give too, and the impact will be that much greater.

Believe me, I know.

Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and that Aristotle, he sure did know what he was talking about.



Go Orange: it’s a wrap

3 Nov

whole bag of chips go orange 4This weekend marked the end of another Go Orange for No Kid Hungry fall food drive for our family. We reached far and wide this year and our drive expanded even further than we had imagined possible.

Next year, we’ll plan to reach even further and wider!

Please take a moment to read all about it on my new Go Orange for No Kid Hungry page, which you can find at the top of The Whole Bag of Chips. There you’ll find a recap of this year’s event as well as an earlier post with other important links and statistics about hunger.

I’ll add to that page in the future as well, so I hope you’ll stop by often!