Do cocoons make you curious about what’s inside? What color will the butterfly be when it emerges? Where will the winds and its wings take it? Will it bring someone joy?
For children in South Africa, hunger threatens to keep them in the “cocoon” of hunger.
65% of all South African children live in poverty. Receiving food encourages these children to stay in school and obtain their education.
When children are unable to stay in school and obtain an education, it is unlikely they will emerge from the cocoon of hunger.
Nearly 20% of all children in South Africa are orphans, with approximately 1.9 Million of those children orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS.
In addition to the absence of parental support, these orphans are more likely to remain trapped in the cocoon of hunger.
Lack of food can diminish concentration, erode willpower, and strip away a child’s potential. The conservative estimate of the number of children in South Africa living below the poverty line is 12 million.
Although government programs assist approximately 8 million of these children, 4 million children still need help to emerge from the cocoon of hunger.
Although my teenagers no longer want my input or involvement in their lunch choices, I remember well the challenge of finding something nutritious, novel, and affordable for their lunches. We bloggers participating in this campaign are each contributing a recipe. Mine comes from Ellie Krieger of the Food Network. It’s colorful, tasty, and affordable (and it has a great name!).
Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad
8 ounces bow tie pasta, preferably whole grain
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.
In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the corn, edamame, bell pepper and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.
Besides thinking about sending rainbows and butterflies in your child’s lunch (or yours, as I’ll be doing this week!), what can you and I do about the 4 million children in South Africa for whom a “colorful pasta salad” would truly be a luxury?
We can help The Lunchbox Fund meet its goal of raising $5,000, which will provide 100 South African school children a daily meal for one year. (The meals are provided at school, which reinforces the likelihood that the children will go to school.) But $5,000 sounds *BIG* doesn’t it? I gave $10; if 499 more people do the same, we’ll be there! For me it was giving up the $10 I would have spent on yoga today and doing yoga at home instead. A small sacrifice in the long run.
To donate, click this link.
There’s no reason that those of us who have so much can come together to help children who need the basic gift of food and help them fly free from poverty.
*Note: The factual information in italics was provided by The Giving Table.