I've heard the color orange is considered conducive to creativity. Thursday, Sept. 3, is National "Go Orange" day to shine a light on hunger.
It seems fitting Northern Illinois Food Bank and pantries across the country are using the color to spark ideas to ease this growing problem and to kick off Hunger Action Month.
More than 400,000 people face hunger in the 13 counties served by Northern Illinois Food Bank, a nonprofit organization in Geneva. Every week 71,500 people -- or one in seven -- across northern Illinois visit Northern Illinois Food Bank's network of 800 food pantries and soup kitchens for groceries or a hot meal.
Additionally, the Food Bank distributes fresh produce, meat and other foods through programs such as mobile pantries, after-school snack and meal programs, and backpacks filled with food that children take home each Friday. And that number is up by 11,000 people from last year.
What can you do? To generate awareness of the issue of hunger in our communities, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and food banks across the country, ask people and businesses to wear orange on Thursday, Sept. 3. Start a food or fund drive in your neighborhood, school or book group. Post your thoughts on what hunger means to you and pictures of you wearing orange on Northern Illinois Food Bank's Facebook page and tweet to @ILFoodBank using hashtag #HungerAction.
For more ways you can help and a calendar of Hunger Action Month events, visit SolveHungerToday.org/HAM.
Northern Illinois Food Bank has centers in Geneva, Park City and Rockford. Volunteers are needed to help sort and pack food for distribution to local food pantries and feeding programs, and for administrative duties. Visit www.SolveHungerToday.org/Volunteer to learn more.
I'll be sporting orange on Thursday. Hunger really is all around us. Let's get creative on ways to end it.
YouTube a launchpad for cooking celebs: Maybe you saw this story on dailyherald.com. "My Drunk Kitchen," "BBQ Pit Boys," "SortedFood" and "Cooking with Dog" are runaway hits on YouTube.
According to this story, Millennials, that goose-that-laid-the-golden-egg demographic, subscribe to these videos in droves as well as post their own. I'm already a fan of "My Drunk Kitchen" and a little mesmerized by the cooking dog. It's OK, I can watch at work, it's research.
Discussing the story with another Daily Herald editor, she got to wondering if there are any local cooks starring in their own backyard broadcasts. If so, send me an email with a link to your creation. I'd love to talk with you. And, who knows what it could lead to. You as the next big thing in cooking on the Internet, or your spouse or child's stardom as the next big thing in filmmaking.
Not too late for summer cocktails: The mixologists at Pure Juice Cafe in Arlington Heights offer two fresh juice-based cocktails to refresh your backyard dining and maybe give your body a well-needed rest after all the summer parties. Both the Zen Detox and the Jalapeno Slim are full of antioxidents, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs. The best part: Both of these concoctions mix with vodka, rum, tequila or even sake if you're not ready to put summer celebrations to rest.
Kendall College Team Named ACF Central Region: The smartest culinary students in the Midwest are from Kendall College in Chicago, according to the American Culinary Federation.
The students won overall in the ACF Central Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, held in April during ChefConnect: Indy, ACF's Central/Western Regional Conference in Indianapolis.
This is the sixth regional win for the Kendall College team. This year's team members are Michael Lanzerotte, Alex Gabrielson, Alex Szabo, Mike Kubiesa, Nelia Salvi and Emily Mankus. The team's coach, Dina Altieri, is a chef instructor and associate professor at Kendall College.
• Contact Susan Stark at sstark@daily herald.com, (847) 427-4586 or @SusanNBR1 on Twitter.