Childhood Hunger is an enormous problem in the United States. 13 million children live in homes that lack the means to obtain sufficient nutrition on a regular basis. Consequently, these kids struggle with hunger at some time during the year.


What is National Childhood Hunger Day?

First of all, National Childhood Hunger Day is October 16th, and ties in with World Hunger Day each year. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) officially adopted the National Childhood Hunger Day in 1995. Especially relevent, the ACF is the nation’s largest organization for chefs and cooks. Furthermore, the ACF Chef & Child Foundation is the philanthropic arm whose mission is to be the voice of the American Culinary Federation in the fight against childhood hunger.

Many thoughtful chefs from around the country participate to bring awareness to the issues surrounding childhood hunger. The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties in Neptune hosts this annual effort. Chef Phil Cragg, AAC, who served on the National ACF Chef & Child Foundation Board for the past ten years, is the chairperson for the event. As a result of all the hard work done, this wonderful event brought much attention to the issue over the years.


How It Works

Members of the local ACF Jersey Shore Chefs Association Chapter provide nutrition and health education throughout the facility. The program uses the Food Bank’s sorting rooms, board room, classroom, garden and warehouse food storage area for the program. Various stations are set up to share nutritional ideas and interactive lessons about good food choices with 3rd and 4th grade elementary school children from around Monmouth & Ocean Counties. In addition, the Food Bank itself provides healthy activities and exercise stations.

Children from 5 elementary school classes will participate in the Childhood Hunger Day Forum at the Food Bank this year. Other chapter chefs will provide lunch at two local child feeding programs in Monmouth & Ocean counties. Especially noteworthy is that the chefs use only new recipes created solely from USDA Commodities. Professional chefs from Ocean & Monmouth counties continue to donate to the Food Bank’s Second Helping Program throughout the year.

The American Culinary Federation recognizes the ACF Jersey Shore Chefs Association chapter every year for their unwavering efforts to fight childhood hunger with both regional and national awards. We commend and appreciate this group for the wonderful programs featured on National Childhood Hunger Day.

No child should be hungry – What can you do to make a difference in childhood hunger?


The original content for this article originally appeared in[ 10.4.16].

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