Save Our Outreach Freezer Fund

Help us save our outreach! We need a large, upright freezer!

http://www.gofundme.com/freezerfund

We learned that Panera gives their bread away each night to charities who feed people, so we called our local store manager and asked how to get set up to pick up bread for our outreach. The manager told us she’d put us on the schedule for Friday nights. We have been picking up bread every Friday night since August, and delivering it to needy families each Saturday.

We learned two weeks ago that the manager is GONE, and she didn’t have the authority to the schedule, the NWLA Food Bank does. The Food Bank didn’t know about us and scheduled another charity who feeds people to pick up on Fridays.

We called the Food Bank and explained the situation. The Food Bank is allowing us to continue picking up bread but our day is now Monday. This presents a huge problem:

Because Panera is awesome – there are NO preservatives in their bread, so it is all spoiled before Saturday. We need a large, upright freezer so that we can store the bread from Monday to Saturday.

Without the freezer – we have to stop. The charity who is now picking up on Fridays can’t pick up on Mondays, and when it comes to feeding people, it’s not “us or them”.

September-outreach

http://www.gofundme.com/freezerfund

Why haven’t we needed a freezer before now?

Because our outreach is on Saturday and we were picking up bread on Friday night.

Why can’t we do our outreach on Tuesday?

I work full time and am taking college classes.  We gladly gave up our Friday nights and weekends to feed people, but we are not able to keep the Friday night pickup.

Why don’t you just stop doing this?

1 in 6 people in our country isn’t getting enough to eat.   There is enough food wasted in this country to feed  way more than 1 in 6 people but it takes effort from people like me and you to make sure that everyone gets to eat. There should NEVER be anyone going hungry, it does not have to be this way.

http://www.gofundme.com/freezerfund

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Help Save Art in Bossier City Schools!

Bossier City, Louisiana schools art programs have been cut  back to near-nothing.  The budget is $1.00 PER STUDENT.  That is not enough to do even ONE art project, much less an entire year of instruction.

Check out this article written by the Bossier Arts Council for the details.

http://www.bossierarts.blogspot.com/2013/08/project-art-supplies.html

Please, read the article and give whatever you can spare, even if it’s only $5.00.

Donate to Bossier Arts Council via PayPal.
Important: When you get to the “Review your donation” screen, click the Special Instructions link and put “for Project Art Supplies” in the box so the BAC will know how to apply your donation.

I donated.  Will you?

LAI: Feeding People 02/23/2013

Working together with Streets of Charity, the Louisiana Initiative (Moxie, Cognito, and Servo) fed more than 80 people a hearty, nutritious meal.


Sharing food is one of the most basic and powerful ways to help people. Considering that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger, there needs to be more of us feeding those who are struggling.  Cooking for 100 people is easier than you might think! Read more about this in Moxie’s article at:  STANDSuperhero.com

Helping People 101: Sharing Food

LouisianaInitiative_streetsofcharitySharing food is one of the most basic and powerful ways to help people. Considering that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger, there needs to be more of us feeding those who are struggling.  Cooking for 100 people is easier than you might think!

Every Saturday in Downtown Shreveport a group of people gathers in an empty lot, just before 5:00pm.  They set up folding tables and serve a meal for 50 to  100 people and then clean up, break down, and vanish leaving no traces that they were ever there, all within a single hour.

This past Saturday it was my turn to cook.  Because it is near the end of the month, I was told to expect a lot of people – as many as 100.  Normally I cook for three people so this undertaking seemed like a big task.  It really wasn’t.

Cooking for a large group is not difficult at all; it just requires some planning and forethought, plus a little extra equipment.  If (when?) you decide to do something like this, be sure to tell all of your friends and family what you are planning.  My mother-in-law happily donated her 3-gallon (12 quart) and 4.5 gallon (18 quart) stock pots to the cause, along with two pounds of frozen meat. A coworker donated a bag of chicken, which meant I didn’t have to purchase any meat at all. We picked up 4-gallon (16 quart) stockpots at a popular discount store for $12.00 each.  As long as you’re making stews or other foods with a lot of liquid and keep the heat fairly low, the cheap stockpots will do just fine.

I only spent about an hour researching “Cooking for 100 people” before I had a good understanding of how much food I needed to make. It takes about 6.5 gallons to serve one cup of food to 100 people, so I decided to make 8 gallons of stew and 10 lbs of rice to serve with it.  The last thing in the world I wanted was to run out of food before everyone got to eat. I have included my recipe below, including all of the day-before preparations and some advice to help you avoid my mistakes.

Here is a slide-show that I prepared from photos taken along the way.  In the past I have been against posting photos of good deeds, but I’ve since discovered that this is an EXCELLENT way to let friends and coworkers know what I’m doing  – and hopefully – inspire them to pitch in and help!  After sharing this around a little bit, I already have several people lined up to help me next month.  It is hard to argue with what works.

Hearty Bean Stew for 100 People

15 lbs of dry beans, any kind.   I used a mix of kidney, pinto, black, navy.
2 lbs pork tenderloin
6 lbs of chicken breast
1 lb pork sausage
3 bunches of celery, chopped
4 lbs of onion, chopped
chicken broth (I had homemade bone broth)
few teaspoons of liquid smoke
few scoops of minced garlic
Tony Cachere’s – green can
Oregano, salt, pepper

6 – 7  lbs of white rice  (I cooked 10 lbs – way too much!)

The day before:

Rinse and soak beans for a minimum of 8 hours.
Boil and shred the meat. Save the broth.

The day of:

Drain the beans and use fresh water and the broth from boiling the meat. Boil the beans hard for about 10 minutes.  Add a mountain of chopped onion and celery.  Add the meat, garlic and seasonings then reduce heat to low for about 3 hours.

I cooked 10 lbs of rice but 6 or 7 lbs would have been plenty.  The best way to cook large quantities of rice is in steam table pans in the oven, but if you don’t have those just cook it in several smaller batches.   I used a large stockpot which produced very mushy rice. It wasn’t a big deal this time since the rice was being mixed with stew.

The pots stayed very hot wrapped in blankets, and the baskets made it all easy to carry.  We didn’t have to worry about spilling in the car.

Moxie’s Coat Drive 2012

Something really cool happened this year.  I had a successful coat drive, but it wasn’t because I put in a lot of effort.  I just wasn’t able to this year.  Life happens, you know?

Rather than beat myself up about what I couldn’t do, I will rejoice in the fact that my coat drive happened almost WITHOUT ME!

Everyone who knows me, is aware that I do this every year. People were bringing me an item or two all through the year.  My “donations corner” slowly filled up.  About a month before I planned to post flyers and start advertising, a coworker gave me two huge bags full of stuff she had been saving for me.  This is now something I am known for – and hopefully next year I will have time and energy to accomplish something big.  If not, I’m still going to be happy that everyone in my life is thinking about donating coats and clothes all the time.

In a way, I’ve already accomplished something big!

It’s hard to tell from the photo below, but this is a giant box for shipping a dishwasher.

2012MoxieCoatDrive

Moxie is co-Founder of the Louisiana Initiative, and a regular contributor for S.T.A.N.D.