No Kid Hungry KC’s bake sale tomorrow and brunch Sunday make for feel-good weekend eating

Until recently, I had no idea that I was “food insecure” as a child. I thought I was simply insecure about everything.

“Food insecure” is the term that the Washington, D.C.-based charity No Kid Hungry uses to describe a problem faced by one in five U.S. children. The agency says 48.8 million American youths do not have access to nourishing meals every day.

In the 1960s, I felt like one of those kids. Not because my family had to stretch its food budget, but because my scatterbrained mother waited until the last minute to think about packing lunches for her children. I dreaded opening my lunchbox each day. She would either have gone overboard, stuffing my metal Aladdin with ridiculously elaborate sandwiches and varieties of fruit, or, far more likely, underdone it with a plastic bag containing three potato chips and a pickle. On several occasions, I ate a “sandwich” of two slices of Wonder Bread that between them held nothing but air.

That was embarrassing, but of course there were a few kids who didn’t even have a lunch box, let alone anything in it. And today, many more kids make do with even less.

That’s what drew me to No Kid Hungry KC, the local chapter of the national organization, which hosts its third annual fundraising bake sale tomorrow morning. From 8 a.m. until my fellow bakers and I are out of food, we’ll be under a tent at 6336 Brookside Plaza, in front of the green space of the Brookside Commerce Bank building, raising money and awareness.

I made coffee cake last year but, at this late hour, haven’t settled on just what to bring Saturday. I bet my cohorts — who include Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James; The Kansas City Star’s Jill Silva, Feast magazine’s Jenny Vergara; and The Independent publisher Laurie Ingram — have had their plans in place for weeks.

It’s not all well-meaning amateurs, of course. Under the tent with us will be contributions by local caterers, chefs, restaurateurs and professional bakers.

A large contingent of community bakers will also have sweet and savory items in the sale, which has been organized for a third time by caterer Gina Reardon, owner of Catering by Design.

This time, more funds for No Kid Hungry will be available, thanks to a fundraising “Country Brunch and Bloody Mary SmackDown” (featuring small plates and beverages created by local chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, food trucks and bartenders) from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at the Guild (1621 Locust). Tickets to the brunch ($80) can be purchased here. The brunch is being co-chaired by Reardon and Nancy Smith, co-owner of the Michael Smith and Extra Virgin restaurants.

Every dollar raised at the two events is the equivalent of up to 10 school breakfasts, lunches or summer meals for low-income children. No Kid Hungry KC has raised more than $34,000 to date; this year’s $100,000 goal equates to a million meals.

Better preheat my oven…

Categories: Food & Drink