Years ago I worked in a homeless shelter. To say it was a frustrating job would be an understatement. On a daily basis I saw people who could not manage to take care of themselves and their families, no matter how hard I and my coworkers tried to help them. Successes were few and far between.

One day I got a flat tire and when the tow truck driver arrived we immediately recognized one another from our time together at the shelter. It was such a great moment to hear him tell me how well things were going. I could tell that the only thing more gratifying than my feeling that somehow I had succeeded, was his feeling that the tables were now turned, and he finally got a chance–not to thank me, but to help me.

The biggest thing I miss about my job in the shelter is dinner. Oh it was mostly lousy food donated by well-meaning church groups. “Hot dish” my colleague used to say when people would ask “What’s for dinner?” But the feeling of doing good in such a direct way, by serving hungry people food was powerful. If you’ve ever served a meal to the homeless you know what I mean. Just being around people who don’t eat three square meals a day is humbling.

The fact that hunger is still an issue in America is shameful. But you can do something about it. Epicurious has put together a great program to help feed our nations neediest kids through America’s Second Harvest.

1. Go to the Epicurious party at Michael Mina on September 18th to enjoy a great meal and great company. Michael Mina was chosen as Chef of the Year in 2005 by both Bon Appetit and San Francisco magazine. See what all the fuss is about! This is a great chance to dine at Michael Mina and make a charitable contribution at the same time. The menu looks terrific!

Ahi Tuna Carpaccio
Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil Pesto

Tapioca Crusted Tai Snapper
Dried Fruit Basmati Rice, Chili Lime Vinaigrette

Duet of Beef
Roasted Fillet, Worcestershire Braised Short rib
Horseradish Whipped Potatoes

Local Strawberry Shortcake
Buttermilk Biscuit, Chantilly

2. Throw a dinner party using menus (and wine suggestions) from renowned chefs, and collect contributions from your grateful and lucky guests. Find all the details here.

3. While not nearly as much fun as the first two ideas, you can simply donate directly to the nation’s largest food bank.

Whichever you choose, enjoy the feeling of making a difference and helping out, because that is truly fulfilling.

Hungry? 13 September,2006Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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