Currey’s Corner: Food Matters

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What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had in your life?

“Food matters.”
Think back. Can you remember the most meaningful meal you’ve had in your life?
Was it last Friday night? :-) I recently went back home to Alaska. Since coming back to GR, everyone’s been asking, “How was your trip?!” I tell ‘em funny stories, and how I met my very first niece, Grace. How I saw so many people I love, lots of mountains and moose, and said goodbye to my childhood home. But what I don’t say, and don’t really know how to say, is that the majority of my trip simply revolved around a table. Dinners with extended family, potlucks with friends, coffee dates, catching up with grandparents, or just eating a bowl of cereal in the morn. This is where life happens for me. Let me give you an example…

At the peak of a mountain, on a ski date with my Dad, what I thought would be a quick stop for a bite to eat, turned out to be a meal I will remember forever. We were both doing something we loved in skiing and knew we had to grab food at some point. Now, we could have scarfed down a cheap burger and been back on the slopes in 10 minutes. But Dad had something else in mind. He gave me one of the nicest meals of my life. It meant so much to me, and it meant so much to him. We unbuckled our boots, and slowed down to share a meal. The food was amazing, but what I will remember most is the conversation and the love that I felt. We talked about the future, asked good questions, made jokes, and reminisced about good times. And—we still got in 5 more runs in anyway.

 

Our Goal 2/8—2/14

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You more than DOUBLED last week’s goal. We’re in awe. All vouchers back-in-stock now.

 

 

An author I’ve had the pleasure to meet is Shauna Niequist, of “Bread and Wine”. In urging attention to the importance of food, she writes, “Food is a language of care, the thing we do when language fails us, when we don’t know what to say, when there are no words TO say… It’s the thing that connects us, that bears our traditions, our sense of home and family, our deepest memories. Food matters.” I agree wholeheartedly.

When I think about the still-new 2014 and what I want it to be a year of, I think of life around the table with old friends, with new friends, with celebration and with consolation, with costumes and in PJ’s. I think of 2014 and I think of making a difference in someone’s life—meeting tangible needs. I love that our app is found at the intersection of these.

So—in the midst of your hustling schedule, when you want to leave your ski boots buckled and scarf down a hamburger in your car on the way to the next run, press pause and remember that food really does matter.

 

Hi there!

My name is Rebecca Currey and I am an avid food-lover! I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a foodie, because I don’t have a lot of expertise to offer; rather, I am enthralled by the ability of food to bring people together. FoodCircles celebrates this fact and couples it with feeding kids in need. This is a win-win in my book! I am an adventurer who hails from the awesome state of Alaska, pursuing my masters and exploring the great city of Grand Rapids in my free time. I love to laugh, chat over coffee, meet new people and eat food! I have the absolute pleasure of chronicling some of my thoughts about the significance of gathering around a table. So pull up a seat, the table is set and there is a spot just for you —

5000

(c) Abigail Kumar 2013

We can feed 5,000. We need your help.

A measuring stick for you and me….
The moment you decide to grab food tonight, or perhaps this weekend, you have a chance to truly show love to a child in need. This child is probably someone you’ve never met, and maybe will never meet, but you have the power to right at least one wrong in their life. You’ve given 215 dinners to local children in need plus 168 DAYS of food to malnourished children in Niger, West Africa in just 60 days.

Gotta share our goal of 5000 because we believe in A) having a concrete, ambitious mark to work towards {do ya have one?}, B) you keeping us accountable, and C) because we know “what’s measured, improves“. It just takes you to continue to love those in need and feed 2-4 children per month.

 

THIS YEAR’S GOAL

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We’ve also updated our Local and West Africa giving profiles.

 

WHAT’S OUR END OF THE BARGAIN?

To reach 5000, we need to introduce bold, new ways of eating well and changing lives:

—new “au courant” restaurants
—get tighter service at restaurants and sharpened donation followup
—send $1 dishes to friends, nominate new causes, even reserve that dish you really want

Sparrow’s Coffee and ROWSTER have also chipped in. Get 10% off or $1 off your coffee just by showing you’ve made a purchase on your app timeline or by downloading the app at the register. Thank you Lori and Stephen.

 
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Life of a Sack Supper at Kids Food Basket

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Some people ask us about the food we donate to Kids Food Basket. The YouTube video is an awesome story about what happens what happens after you use FoodCircles to eat and select Kids Food Basket at your preferred charity.

Here’s the core problem: Over 33,000+ kids live in poverty in Kent County, and many are not able to play when they want to, or study when they want to because of an empty stomach.

Here’s the solution we came up with:  Use joinfoodcircles.org or the Android / iPhone app to get dinner plans. You can buy a local restaurant dish for just $1 or more, and 100% of your purchase will be used to provide these meals.  Every $1 you spend provides one mind-sustaining dinner for a child to take home after school:

  • a sandwich
  • a fruit
  • a serving of vegetables
  • a snack like granola
  • a dessert like a cookie
  • & a drink

 

We even challenged you to test the food the kids will receive. Check the reviews on it here, here, and HERE.

You might find that when you ask someone, “Do you feel you’re doing enough for others in life?” the answer is often, “No”.  Our app lets you integrate everyday behavior into behavior that makes a difference.

Super-Powered Peanut Butter: Plumpy’Nut!

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(Anderson Cooper / 60 Minutes also produced a clip, but with some graphic footage of children. To view, click here.)

Some folks ask us about the food we donate globally. Above is a short doc on the food provided when you use FoodCircles to eat and select World Vision at your preferred charity.  World Vision works with us to provide a life-saving substance called Plumpy’Nut to kids in Niger, Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, among others. But what’s Plumpy’Nut? Continue reading

2014 Internships Released

Find the public versions on Craigslist, our job board of choice for many reasons.

 

Digital Storytellerhttp://grandrapids.craigslist.org/mar/4253495194.html

Local Storytellerhttp://grandrapids.craigslist.org/mar/4253486881.html

National Storytellerhttp://grandrapids.craigslist.org/npo/4253478574.html

Print Design Internshiphttp://grandrapids.craigslist.org/med/4253474076.html

Web Development Internship (Rails) — http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/sof/4253461771.html

Web Design Internship (HTML/CSS/JS/Rails) — http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/web/4253466123.html

 


Learn more about our organization and mission here: http://blog.foodcircles.net/about/

Currey’s Corner: More than a Meal

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What is it about food that helps us truly be seen?

“Do you have plans for dinner?”
Food has significance beyond being life-sustaining. Now most folks fall somewhere on the range of having a love/hate relationship with meal prep, but one thing that we can all agree on is that food brings people together. Recently in my life and in the lives of my “home team”, there has been a lot of “tough” and a lot of “hard.” Have you felt the same?

Friends have been experiencing heartbreaks, moving away, loved ones dying, loneliness, even depression. It’s been a lot. In these moments I find myself searching for words to comfort and ease the pain; sometimes I am at a loss. Walking through a tough circumstance in my own life, I found the most helpful response from a friend to be, “….do you have plans for dinner?”

On another circumstance, a friend on a whim invited four friends over for pizza and to my surprise, each of the woman opened up about deep pain they were experiencing. I had seen these women many times over the past few weeks and had NO INKLING that they had been going through what their words were saying. What is it about food? What is it about being around a table with people that opens up the door for vulnerability?

 

THIS WEEK’S GOAL

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San Chez and Peppino’s are already sold out this week! Try a #bofo special.

 

 

I think it’s a step away from the screens we stare at all day and an opportunity to see the face we see on Facebook, face-to-face. In our world of “140 characters or less” and posting things for thousands to see, I’ve discovered what happens around a table to be unique and refreshing.

Slowing down and looking someone in the eye and asking, “How are you? No really, how are you?” with no excuse of simply saying, “Fine, how are you,” we are invited to truly be seen (an often scary thought). This is one of the most important things we can do around a table: 1) invite others 2) be seen for exactly who we are.

So next time when you’re small-talking with a friend about the good, the bad and the ugly, why not ask the question, “Do you have plans for dinner?”

 

 
Hi there!

My name is Rebecca Currey and I am an avid food-lover! I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a foodie, because I don’t have a lot of expertise to offer; rather, I am enthralled by the ability of food to bring people together. FoodCircles celebrates this fact and couples it with feeding kids in need. This is a win-win in my book! I am an adventurer who hails from the awesome state of Alaska, pursuing my masters and exploring the great city of Grand Rapids in my free time. I love to laugh, chat over coffee, meet new people and eat food! I have the absolute pleasure of chronicling some of my thoughts about the significance of gathering around a table. So pull up a seat, the table is set and there is a spot just for you —

Your Passion is Evident

© Mike Wells

GRATEFUL AND FULL

We wanted to feed 15 − you fed 40.
All without spending $1 more than you already planned to.

In tests leading up to the launch of http://joinfoodcircles.org, we expected about 20% of you to pay more than the $1 for a “Buy One, Feed One” dish. Time and time again last week, you’ve proved the number to be 100%. We together have more than conquered last week’s meal goal. Your passion is visible. We’re still in awe of the “extra mile” many of you have walked to help children.

“The food was good but the experience was delicious.”
“Our manager actually joined us and talked to us about it for 7 minutes.”

This part of the review from from our friend Joe, who broke bread at Pietro’s last week. From him and his girlfriend, came one and two dinners for two hungry children, raising the dining experience from good to grand. As we head into the next few weeks towards Thanksgiving, remember that a sense of gratefulness can be best experienced when you give.

Post-Tiramisu :p

Post-Tiramisu :p

THIS WEEK’S GOAL

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All Sold Out venues have one maybe two “Buy One, Feed One” specials this week.

 

 

Figure out food– use our trusty map to see #bofo restaurants that fit into your work/home routines, or try our new apps free on Android, iOS, and joinfoodcircles.org

Where We’ve Been the Last 9 Months

In 2012, you test-drove an app that helped you feed a hungry child simply by eating out. But we knew the reality wasn’t matching the idea.

With lessons learned, a beautiful new iOS, Android, and Web app are coming at you Monday. :) #bofo

READ MORE: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38930645/builds/Where/when.html

Grabbed Coffee w/ 5 Users and These Are The Lessons Learned

at San Chez Bistro

What are your dine out “habits”? (when, where do you go, how do you decide, etc.)  What’s your attitude toward new restaurants and toward getting deals? Where do you find ‘em?

How does giving back fit into your life?  Would you say you give back enough?

We wanted to reveal a couple recommendations a “User Researcher” from UofM named Mo Kerwin gave to us.  She hung out with 5 individuals who’d used our old app and captured their thoughts, feelings, and emotions around FoodCircles, dining out, and helping others.

Continue reading