Through volunteer-run bake sales across the country, Share Our Strength is working to feed hungry children nationwide. It’s a cause Atlanta food stylist and blogger Tami Hardeman feels passionately about.
When Tami Hardeman, often referred to by her blog’s name, Running with Tweezers, speaks about the importance of feeding hungry kids, she chokes up. “As a food stylist, I see a lot of food waste at work. I style food for a photo, and then it gets thrown in the trash,” she says. “But the fact is, in many cases, the only meals some children are receiving are the ones they’re getting at school. I’ve never known what that’s like, to not get to eat because my parents aren’t home or because I live in a food desert.” So when fellow food blogger Gaby Dalkin approached her in 2009 about participating in a bake sale to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, Tami jumped at the chance.
The Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry premise is simple: Volunteers across the country—from professional bakers and chefs to anyone who can line a cupcake pan—organize their own bake sales. They donate baked goods and sell them. Then they pass along all the proceeds to the No Kid Hungry campaign, which uses the funds to help kids in need gain access to nutritious food and teach their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The Bake Sale launched in 2003 and to date has raised over $10 million.
After six years of working—and now organizing—the Atlanta sale at The Cook’s Warehouse, Tami has been named a Bake Sale Hero. Her scrappy team, with the help of matching funds from sponsor Domino Sugar, has raised over $20,000—simply by peddling cakes, salted caramel sauce, marshmallows, cookies, and brownies galore. “For one day a year, I get to be more annoying than the public radio fund drives. I am shameless. I will tweet and post on Facebook to the point people might want to unfriend me. But I just want your money. A couple of bucks can feed a kid for a week,” she says. In fact, according to Share Our Strength, $1 helps feed a child up to 10 healthy meals. “We take [food] for granted, and there are all these kids who don’t get a hot meal unless they go to school.” For anyone with a sweet tooth, the calories at these bake sales really count.
Find a participating Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry near you (they happen all throughout the year) at nokidhungry.org. Or if you want to get involved and launch your own sale, Share Our Strength offers a full tool kit to get you started. When it comes to launching a bake sale, Tami offers two pieces advice: “I can’t stress enough the importance of social media—you probably have more connections than you realize. And pick a location where you can be under cover. The Bake Sale goes on rain or shine, and when it rains, man does it suck.”