No Kid Hungry Event

written by Ilene Ross
photography by Gina Weathersby

The rate of childhood hunger in America is staggering. One in five children in our country goes hungry each day. When children don’t get the food they need, they’re not able to lead healthy, active lives, nor are they able to function or focus properly in school.

This past October, Chef Michael Paley of Metropole partnered with some of Cincinnati’s top chefs-including Jean-Robert de Cavel of Jean-Robert’s Table,  Julie Francis of Nectar,  Jose Salazar of Salazar, Dan Wright of Senate & Abigail Street, and Sarah Ray of Metropole to prepare a meal to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. Since 2005, No Kid Hungry dinners have raised nearly $7 million to support the No Kid Hungry campaign, ensuring that kids across the U.S. have access to the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. On a local level, Share Our Strength partners with The Ohio Association of Food banks, Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger.

Chef Paley sees his position as a member of the food community as vital in playing an integral part in solving the problem.  “The main reason this cause is important to me is because I feel as chefs and restaurateurs we have a unique opportunity to use our standing in the community and our resources to get the word out for charities such as this and really do something with tangible results that makes a difference in our community.  We also have an understanding of food and nutrition and the sources of our food and that knowledge can be beneficial when it comes to solving such a huge issue, such as childhood hunger.  But, without the involvement of the very generous chefs in Cincinnati who donated their time for this event or the involvement of our guests, the event could not be the success that it was.  It was a very uplifting experience and we can’t wait to do it again next year. I have been a good friend of Jenny Dirksen, Share Our Strength’s National Director of Culinary Events for many years.  Jenny and I met years ago when I used to appear at the Big Apple BBQ, at the time she worked for Danny Meyer as the Director of Community Investment for Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City.  For the past several years, while at Proof in Louisville, I tried to get a No Kid Hungry dinner off the ground but our schedules never synced up.  This year we were able to make it happen.”

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