Hunger

Yummy chicken soup and a cookbook recipe call!

Chicken soup for the soul, or how to make a quick and easy chicken soup that feeds 5 for under $15

Total cost: $13.89 with leftover food in most categories for a second batch

Necessary tools:

To me, the most indispensable item to have in your kitchen to help college students (and families) to eat well with minimal prep time is a crockpot or other slow cooker. One warning: you cannot keep a soup in the crockpot for 3 weeks and then think it will still be good. My daughter learned this the hard way and the stench that wafted through her small apartment when she took the lid off the crockpot should guarantee that she doesn’t make that mistake again. It is best to eat the first helping of whatever you make and store the rest in the frig in serving sized containers for later consumption. If you know you will eat it within a day, keeping the crockpot on warm should keep the food hot enough to stay safe. My goal when my son and daughter are home is to always have hot food available for them to graze on, so we tend to clear out a crockpot of soup or stew in one day.

Staples:

I buy chicken or beef broth whenever it is on sale. I usually have 10 cans on hand at any given time. My favorite time to buy is when the store has 10 for $10 (or less) specials.

Spices you like: For us, salt, pepper – we save the red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese packets that come with pizzas, parsley, garlic, etc. My family loves McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning – $5.60 for 7 ounces.

Buy potatoes, carrots, celery and onions in bulk. They last pretty well and are typically cheaper that way.

Here’s my quick and easy (and delicious) chicken soup recipe:

1 rotisserie chicken – I got a ready made one from Dillons. Walmart, Sam’s, Costco, many grocery chains cook these fresh daily. The price seems to be pretty standard $4.99 to $5.99 for a smaller one (which I use – mine was $5.99), $7.99 to $8.99 for a large one. I chop my veggies in larger chunks, as I like to make a more hearty soup. Everything below can easily be upsized to feed a larger group.

3 stalks of celery (a bunch of celery should last you 3 batches of soup) – 1 bunch – $1.49

3 large carrots (a pound bag of carrots should make 2 batches of soup) I DO peel my carrots! – 2 lb bag – $2.50

2 large or 4 small potatoes (a 5 lb bag of potatoes should last your for 3 batches of soup) I DON’T peel my potatoes. I like the more rustic variation! – $3.49

¾ to 1 large white onion – $.99

2 – 32 oz packages of Swanson’s chicken broth (or 4 cans) – $3.96

Seasonings to taste: I use parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, to taste. I like the jars of chopped garlic in water – fresh garlic is also awesome). One small jar of garlic can last me for 2-3 pots of soup.

Here’s what I do:

1)      Take the chicken (I chose “savory” for this soup; you can use lemon pepper, garlic, original, or whatever variety you like), place it and any juices in the bag in the crockpot, top with ½ chopped onion, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, and ½ of a 32 oz package of chicken broth, simmer for hours (whatever time you have available works, but I do it for at least 2 hours). I simmer the chicken in the crockpot before boning it as I want to get all the flavor I can from it into my broth.

2)      Remove chicken from broth, skin, bone and cut up meat into chunks. Set aside.

3)      Add chopped potatoes, carrots, celery and ¼ to ½ of the remaining onion to the broth. Add the rest of the broth from the package and ½ of another package to the crockpot.

4)      Return chicken to the crockpot

5)      Add seasonings to taste. I add red pepper at this point and taste the broth to see if it needs anything else.

6)      Cook until veggies are tender. This takes a couple hours.

I often do this over the course of two days, put the chicken in the crockpot and simmer all night, cut up veggies and bag them, clean the chicken in the morning, add veggies and chicken into the broth, cook on low all day while I’m at school, and we’re greeted when we get home by a mouthwatering smell and a delicious dinner. We often bake crescent rolls to eat with the soup.  $1.89 for 8.

Enjoy! If you try this, please let me know what you think.

Invitation!

So, help us out! The WSU Hunger Awareness team is trying to build a quick and easy cookbook of affordable meals for 2-5 people that college students and families can use to eat healthy. Please share you recipes here or on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WSUHungerAwareness?ref=hl or on our website: wsuhunger.wordpress.com.

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Food Insecurity, Hunger, make a difference, Reflections

Who am I on this Hunger Awareness journey?

Each of our journeys with hunger is unique. What brought us to passionately want to eradicate hunger is equally so. For me, in the autumn of 2009, I was finding my land legs in my new home at Wichita State University. I joined the faculty here in August 2007 as a professor in the Elliott School of Communication, and the Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Chair in Strategic Communication. After more than 20 years in Nevada, I had forgotten that it takes a while to acclimate to a new place, but after 1 ½ years, I was feeling pretty settled. My daughter was doing well in school. I was learning the university. It was time to look outside our personal journeys and find something that would feed our souls, something that would allow us to make a positive difference.

The door that opened that autumn was to Numana, Inc.  and I have been committed to this organization ever since.  A colleague asked me to review some early press releases and media articles and offer suggestions. Not being a journalist, I agreed, hesitantly, but also offered to run it by my journalism colleagues. (This is one of the benefits for a social scientist of working in an integrated school of communication. If I don’t have the skills, someone else does.) I gave my feedback on content and my colleague Eric Wilson gave his on format. I was hooked. Rick McNary, founder and CEO of Numana told a compelling story of hungry children in Nicaragua and the idea of starting a “feed children in schools program”.  Children, schools, food… I was in.

My daughter, her youth group, my son, some of my graduate students,  and I took part in the first ever Numana packaging event in El Dorado, Kansas. Almost 4000 volunteers packaged more than 285,000 meals for Haiti that weekend. It was fun, exciting, and invigorating! What was unique about Numana’s effort to “empower people to save the starving” was the hands-on nature of their events. Volunteers rolled up their sleeves, donned plastic aprons, gloves and shower caps and mixed, packaged and prepared the food for shipment to Salvation Army schools in Haiti.  At tables of 12-14 volunteers, rice, soy, freeze dried vegetables, and a 21 vitamin/mineral tablet, a diet specifically designed for the metabolism of people who are starving, were measured into 6-serving bags, vacuum sealed, packed 36 to a box, and loaded on a truck, The truck would carry the food to Norfolk, Virginia, where it would be shipped by boat to Haiti. The food was expected to arrive in 6-8 weeks. Then the earthquake hit and the situation was so much more severe. Our food was airlifted in by the U.S. 82nd Airborne as some of the first food to reach Haiti following the earthquake.

Superbowl weekend, 2010, I hosted WSU Feeds Haiti, again with my daughter and a group of amazing students. Over 3000 volunteers packaged more than 641,000 meals that weekend. I continued to go to events, to offer my support, and in the first year, more than 125,000 volunteers nationwide packaged over 21 million meals at Numana events.

People want to do things that matter, that make a difference, just as I did.

Now my focus has expanded. After the Kansas Hunger Dialogue last March, I also want to understand hunger on the local level. I wanted to know if there’s a problem here on the WSU campus. I believe there is. Again, I brought together students, this time in a Health Communication Seminar, to understand the nature and scoop of hunger and food insecurity on our campus. The response has been phenomenal. Campus-wide support and interest has simply poured in.

On our website, http://wsuhunger.wordpress.com, you will be able to follow the journeys of each of the 8 students in our class. Our goal is to understand and to empower the change that is needed on our campus. This class is, for me, a way to teach what I practice, to use communication capacity, and skills, to empower others. Personally, it also keeps me on my journey to choose to do things that make a difference. I invite you to join us on this journey!

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Ambassador Tony Hall, Food Insecurity, Hunger, Hunger strike, make a difference, Moveon.org

Moveon.org enters the hunger fast to impact Congressional budget decisions

Dear Friends,

When Congress can seriously debate cutting food aid to pregnant women and children while giving tax breaks to billionaires—and the only question the media asks is whether the cuts are big enough—we have a crisis.

This week progressive faith leaders called for Americans to join an ongoing fast to protest the immoral budget cuts being debated in Washington.

I’m joining the fast along with thousands of people including the leaders of many leading progressive organizations including MoveOn.org. Will you join too? You can choose to fast for part of a day, a whole day, or until the budget gets passed. Click here to join:

http://pol.moveon.org/budgetfast/?r_by=26743-17258418-gLjYkNx&rc=confemail

I think that it’s critical that we both understand what hunger is and make our voices heard. Building corporate profits through loopholes and tax breaks while taking away desperately needed services to the most vulnerable in our nation is simply unacceptable.

Thanks!

Deborah

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Ambassador Tony Hall, Food Insecurity, Hunger, Hunger strike, make a difference, Numana Incorporated

I completed my 3 day, water-only fast – what’s next???? Read on!

Dear Friends,

I made it through my 3 day water-only fast with the help of my friend Mara who did it also. It was hard. At times I was light-headed, nauseous, unable to regulate my body temperature (I wore a long sleeved shirt & a hooded sweatshirt when Mara & I went for a walk in 80+ degree weather, then that night I was so hot I couldn’t sleep). I was grumpy & I had a headache most of the time. I was constantly thirsty even though I drank a lot of water every day & my eyes were painfully dry. I noted that my cognitive capacity slowed. It was difficult to concentrate & I was much slower than usual at number & comprehension games like Kakuro & memory games; I couldn’t concentrate to read for more than several paragraphs.

Of course my experience wasn’t like that of an actual food insecure person who doesn’t know where her next meal will come from (Those most affected by hunger in the U.S. are women & children.). I knew I could eat anytime I decided to. I also know that because I’d never really been hungry before, my experience was different than that of someone with chronic hunger. I thought about food constantly; I dreamed about food; my sense of smell was heightened. I smelled food everywhere.

Tonight we broke our fast at a lovely buffet at Picadilly followed by a movie. But in these 3 days I have learned so much. We’re not done though. We’re going to eat “normally” for several days, then we, along with my daughter & some other friends are going to eat on $4 a day (what food stamps provide). This will likely be more challenging than usual as food prices continue to rise. We invite you to join us.

Did you know that if the budget cuts pass 157,000 American children will lose nutrition support from Head Start programs? Not only will they lose support proven to help them perform better in school, they will also be at greater risk of hunger, obesity & malnutrition. I’ll write more about these issues later. None of this is ok with me. In fact, I think it’s immoral that anyone should suffer food insecurity & hunger in the U.S. (or anywhere in the world for that matter). Did you know that an estimated 50 million Americans go to bed hungry every day? This is unacceptable. We invite you to join us if you’d like as we continue to raise our awareness of hunger.

Three things Ambassador Tony Hall recommends on his hunger site: www:HungerFast.org

PRAY: Commit to reflection and prayer at least once per week for the Hunger Fast and for those who will be hurt by Congress’ proposed budget cuts.

FAST: Participate in the Hunger Fast by skipping a meal every day, abstaining from solid food one day per week, or forgoing solid food altogether.
LIVE ON LESS: Stand with 2.1 billion people who survive on less that $2 per day by limiting your food consumption to $2 daily. Or take the food stamp challenge at $4 per day.

This is such an important issue for our nation. I hope you will join me.

Deborah

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Ambassador Tony Hall, Food Insecurity, Hunger, Hunger strike, make a difference, Numana Incorporated

Progress on my 3 day, water-only hunger fast

On March 28, 2011 Ambassador Tony Hall went on a hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of the poor in our nation. Every night 50 million Americans go to bed unsure of when they will eat next. Most of the hungry in the U.S. are women & children. Proposed Congressional funding cuts will hurt these already vulnerable Americans even more at a time when food prices are skyrocketing & expected to continue to do so.

To me this is immoral. A number of groups are joining Ambassador Hall in this protest. I’ve been on a water only fast since Thursday night to raise my own awareness of hunger. I will end this first effort Sunday night. I invite you to join me in any way you might desire.

To access some of Ambassador Hall’s ideas, you can access his site through a link in his article at www.numanainc.com. Click on “Circle of Protection”. Below is also a link to a companion MoveOn effort.

I heard Ambassador Hall speak in March at the KS Hunger Dialogue. In fact, it was at this event that he announced his hunger strike. Many of you may remember that in 1993, then Ohio senator Hall fasted for 22 days as Congress considered the same type of cuts they are considering now.

I invite you to join in this effort if you wish. Just this two days has been very enlightening for me.

Deborah Ballard-Reisch

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