Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nick and Vanessa donate their time to end hunger


December 21, 2010

Thanks so much to Feeding America Entertainment Council member, Nick Lachey, and fiancée, Vanessa Minnillo. As part of The Biggest Loser Pound For Pound Challenge, the couple joined me at the Freestore Foodbank in Nick’s hometown of Cincinnati, OH, to volunteer and interact with some cooks-in-training. Cincinnati Cooks!, a program at the Freestore Food Bank, is a free ten-week program that prepares students, looking to improve their lives, for work in the food service industry. Professional cooks work with students to teach them culinary techniques, along with job and life skills. The goal is to help students succeed both in the kitchen and in their personal lives.

When asked who the better cook is in their relationship, Nick said, “We have a flawless system. She does all the cooking, and I do all the clean up.”

But both Nick and Vanessa had the opportunity to sharpen their kitchen skills. Chef Marcus, a former student-turned-professional chef, taught Nick and Vanessa proper knife skills, and current students showed them how to whip up a nutritious stir-fry. In addition to feeding the students and Freestore Foodbank employees each day, the food prepared at Cincinnati Cooks! also benefits Kids Cafe programs, which provide free, hot, after-school meals to children who might otherwise go hungry outside of school.

As Nick and Vanessa interacted with students, they made sure to encourage nutritious food choices. As obesity is a rising issue in the United States, programs like the Pound For Pound Challenge are great ways to promote a healthy lifestyle. For every pound you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 11¢ to Feeding America — enough to secure one pound of groceries on behalf of local food banks. Not only are you pledging to keep up a healthy lifestyle, but you’re also helping those Americans who do not always have access to food.