By Meilan Carter-Gilkey
Celebrity chef, author, restaurant owner and TV Host, Chef G. Garvin is clearly passionate about food. And his passion does not stop at satiating the gourmet appetites of the wealthy. Chef Garvin believes that everyone deserves to eat and uses his celebrity, time and resources as tools in the fight against hunger. He recently joined the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” initiative to make
“Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” is a nationwide campaign that brings together the Walmart Foundation and six of the largest food companies in the country, to provide food banks and local partner agencies with much needed support.
Food insecurity, which refers to the state of being regularly unsure from where one’s next meal will come, is at a historically high and alarming rate. According to Feeding America’s Hunger in America 2014 Report, “in a single year one in seven Americans, including 12 million children, turn to the Feeding America food bank network for food assistance”. These numbers are astounding and while there is a serious need to provide more resources, Chef Garvin reminds us of how we can all help. “Anytime you’re thinking of a dinner party, whether it’s a graduation, a birthday party with your girlfriends or basketball night with the guys, we should also think about the people who won’t get to have a single meal.”
The critical need for action on many fronts is evident, so the goals of the initiative are not solely financial. Yes, the campaign has provided 3.7 million much needed dollars to fifty food backs throughout the country, but it also called on Walmart customers and the public to vote for support for their neighborhood food bank. The website is educational and informative, encouraging visitors to learn more about food insecurity, volunteering and ways everyone can make a difference.
Chef Garvin suggests other ways to get involved. “I think that donations are always a good way to go. I think that people feel like they get asked so much for just money…but five dollars, coats, and volunteering is always a really, really, big thing, not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but year round.”
Chef Garvin is not just a campaign representative, he is a long-term active supporter who will remain committed. “My family will volunteer at Atlanta’s Feeding America Food Bank, stay active, continue supporting the cause and literally go in and volunteer, making donations – monetary and physical donations.”
This dedication is even more impressive considering Chef Garvin has a television show, a restaurant, and a new line of gourmet food products launching online and in stores in the next six months. “Anything I do, it’s important to me. My time is more valuable to me than anything else, and committing the time to such a great cause, it’s very important. We are all regular people at the end of the day. I feel like its God’s planet and we are all responsible.”
To learn more about the campaign and Feeding America visit walmart.com/hunger.