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When the pandemic brought her business to a halt, this chef tackled food insecurity with farm-to-table meals



But when Covid struck, everything came to a standstill.

“I didn’t know where my next penny was coming from,” said Ibraheem, who had to close her shop. “I didn’t know if I could pay any bills.”

Prior to the pandemic, Ibraheem had spent years volunteering in youth programs in the Chicago area, teaching young people faced with food insecurity how to grow and prepare vegetables from local community gardens.

When schools closed and many people in the community were fired or given leave of absence, she received calls from families of children she was teaching.

“Parents called to see if we had our ‘Young Chef’ camps and at first I thought they were going to find activities for their children. But I quickly realized they were looking for a meal, ”she said.

As a result of the pandemic, food insecurity in U.S. households with children has been estimated to have tripled, according to the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. It is forecast that 42 million Americans, including 1 in 6 children, could experience food insecurity this year, according to Feeding America.

“At first a lot of people were too proud to say they needed help. They said, ‘Hey, I’m fine’ but you could hear the sound in their voice saying they were not fine,” said Ibraheem. “I told them I had lost my business and I was not doing well. As soon as you talk to people and see them every week, they open up. “

So she started a free meal program she called Kids with Coworkers – which referred to all the children who were at home with their parents at the time. She began cooking healthy meals and serving nine families in need every day.

“At first things started very small, it was very easy,” said Ibraheem. “But the need for food is so incredible. It just exceeded what we ever thought. It is not a matter of class, gender, or race. We’re in a pandemic ourselves. “

Word of her efforts spread quickly, and donations were received that allowed her to expand. Early on, she hired a school bus driver on leave to deliver the meals, and her team operates from a donated large kitchen.

As of March 2020, Ibraheem has provided more than 60,000 meals to more than 600 people.

“To see that people, especially families and seniors, have no food is unacceptable,” she said. “I wanted to make sure people could put food on the table.”

CNN’s Laura Klairmont spoke to Ibraheem about her efforts. Below is an edited version of their conversation

CNN: In which situations are the people in whom you help?

Chef Q. Ibraheem: Many of them are single parents, many are seniors. You have people who don’t have sick days, people who work [minimum wage jobs] where the last check comes, the last check comes.

When the pandemic broke out, so many families were struggling with childcare, finances and, of course, food insecurity. Families struggled to get the food on the table. In the beginning, one of the first parents I spoke to literally said they only had a few cans of soup in the house and they had five children. And that hit my heart so hard because I come from a single parent house.

I know so many of these families and the children and you don’t want your neighbors to be hungry. So it was really easy for me to say, “Let me cook.”

CNN: What is unique about your approach to the food you serve families?

Ibrahim: Cooking is my ultimate expression of love. You want to make someone happy. I started cooking because I was always around food. My father had a halal poultry shop. (And) there was my mother. And my mom said, “Hey, we can’t afford to travel all the time, so we’re actually going to be traveling through restaurants.” So we went to a different restaurant twice a month, on every paycheck.

It was very important to me to make sure that the meals were healthy and nutritious because you know that now you need these people to eat healthily. These are home cooking. Everything is made from scratch. We prepare everything. It takes a lot of time. We always make sure that there is something fresh on the plate. We are very vegetarian.

I wanted it to be the highest quality food I can get. So we get a lot of food from the community gardens we work with. I work with local farms and local producers, local artisans to make sure I can bring the best food to our dinner guests’ plates.

We are really creative when it comes to eating. We try to do the most beautiful coating we can do. We play with the textures. It’s very important for us to introduce our guests to different cultures, different foods, edible flowers and fresh sorrel at dinner just so they can understand, “Hey, there’s so much out here.”

CNN: What are your future plans?

Ibrahim: My dreams have changed. Of course I’ll do underground soup clubs. But in the long run I recognized the need for food and realized how big the problem of food insecurity is. So I’m considering taking on all of the components of my job and hopefully opening a communal kitchen and taking some of the teenagers I actually train and employing them. And I just agree with sustainability and keep it back in the community. I want to cook really good food. I want to take care of people. I also want to invest more in the community.

There has been a food insecurity problem in our country, but the pandemic has shed light on this important issue. I’ve seen people literally a paycheck away from not eating. This is heartbreaking. It’s incredible, but it’s so very real. And it happens all the time. And it’s important that we face this problem and make sure people are eating. So many people go without and there are people whom we still cannot serve. More people called every day.

I’m inspired to keep going because the need hasn’t stopped. It’s a great feeling to know that I can take the load off, if only a little. I give them a sense of understanding that we are in it together. The feeling of knowing that the people in your community care.

Would you like to get involved? Visit the Kids with Coworkers website and see how you can help. To donate to Kids with Coworkers through GoFundMe, click here

Healthy Eating

DeAndre Jordan Is Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is



As a socially and environmentally conscious philanthropist, investor in plant-based and sustainable brands, host of his own plant-based TV show and, of course, a hub for the Brooklyn Nets – DeAndre Jordan is a busy guy.

Players TV – Cooking Clean Show, May 13, 2021

Justin Tucker / @ nine80four

In the midst of his tireless busy schedule, he finds a way to make a half-hour Zoom call with me, and if anything strikes me, it’s that despite the time constraints, he doesn’t seem distracted or rushed. Rather, he’s thoughtful and in the moment.

“I always learn. I am constantly changing. I’m constantly developing, ”he says about his path to mindfulness and a plant-based life.

Almost a decade ago, Jordan took his first steps on the path to mindfulness while on an NBA trip to China. Here he learned about Buddhist practices like meditation and adopted them in order to transform and calm his mind.

“It’s a cool way to use my own energy and my own space,” he describes. “To be aware of my body, my surroundings and the energy that emanates from everything. It helps me deal with the craziness of the world on a daily basis. “

When he returned to China two years later, and then after a trip to Thailand, he continued to delve into Buddhist teachings in search of harmony in all facets of his life – spiritual, psychological, physical, and in his contribution to his community and the environment .

In 2017, an experiment with plant-based diets resulted in a complete lifestyle change that extended to his career, investments, and philanthropy.

“I invest in things that I really believe in and of course that’s my way too,” he explains. “I want to inform others and help them live this lifestyle.”

Cooking Clean, Jordan’s plant-based cooking show, is a medium he uses to educate the public about a plant-based life.

Founded on May 30th by lifestyle and cultural TV network Players TV and media company Players TV, Cooking Clean presents the NBA All-Star, who works with guest chefs to prepare healthy and delicious plant-based dishes.

“I hope the show teaches people that a plant-based diet is good for their body, the planet and the people around them,” he says.

Many of the dishes Jordan creates on the show call for JUST Egg and Beyond Meat, animal protein substitutes for which he’s not just an ambassador but also an investor.

In one episode, head chef Latisha Daring Jordan shows how to prepare a frittata from portobello mushrooms, paprika and JUST Egg, an egg-protein substitute made from mung beans – a thousand-year-old protein-rich legume.

Players TV Cooking Clean Show Preparation of dishes with JUST Egg

Just egg

“When I heard about JUST Egg, I hadn’t eaten eggs in over a year. I was skeptical and didn’t know what mung beans were, ”admits Jordan. “But once I tried it, I longed for it more and more. It’s also good for you and the environment. “

Jordan addresses misunderstandings around the traditional “healthy plate”. “People think that in order to be healthy you need these specific things on your plate – that usually includes animal protein,” he explains.

“But when you think about where animals get protein from, you realize that you’re actually going through a third party to get what you need. Why not get it directly from plants? “

JUST Egg uses 98% less water, has a 93% lower carbon footprint, requires 86% less land than traditional animal products and contains the same amount of protein as a hen’s egg in a single serving. In March of this year, the egg substitute sold the equivalent of more than 100 million eggs – all made from plants.

“It helps to know that the things I eat are making a positive impact on the planet,” says Jordan. “When I think about how much water is wasted or how much CO2 is associated with a piece of chicken or beef, it also reminds me that I am doing the right thing.”

Jordan explains that clean cooking means keeping your body or “temple” as pure and clean as possible, which has had a very positive effect on your game and life.

“Since changing my lifestyle, I feel like my entire aura has improved,” he says. “I feel the benefits both on and off the pitch. As a person and as a professional athlete, I give my body what I will produce and achieve. That’s what matters.”

DeAndre Jordan # 6 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks to the media during Brooklyn Nets Media Day at HSS … [+] Training Center (Photo by Mike Lawrie / Getty Images)

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Healthy Eating

Packable Meals That Make for Easy Road Trip Food



Rotisserie chicken sandwiches, salad-in-a-glass or thermosgazpacho

If it turns out that you spend most of your time driving during the day, there are plenty of sandwich options that go well beyond peanut butter and jelly. Homemade chicken salad tastes even better (and is more nutritious) when you add fruits, nuts, and fresh herbs. Poaching or roasting chicken isn’t difficult, but using fried chicken is a great option without cooking. Put it in a croissant and add an avocado to keep it filling and provide healthy fats. (Hold the avocado whole until you’re ready to eat; just don’t forget to pack a knife.)

You can also conjure up a high-quality BLT on the go. Cook some turkey bacon in the morning – it can stay crispy for hours without refrigeration – and marinate the tomatoes in the evening before you go. (Simply drizzle tomato slices with a squirt of red wine vinegar and olive oil and store in a container in the refrigerator.) Get fresh bread, lettuce and mayo or an avocado and assemble it when you are ready to eat.

If you want to have dinner too, let the time in the car work for you: Beat a salad that gets better and better in marinades, like an Asian coleslaw made with rotisserie chicken, cooked shrimp and / or cashew nuts before serving. Another creative way to get your veggies inside is to put a salad together in a jar that you stash in the cooler. These score lots of road trip-friendly points because they’re easy to store and eat, and the layers keep the ingredients fresher and crispier.

You can really add whatever you want – maybe blue cheese and bacon for a cobb salad; Shrimp and beans for a taco spin – then just shake it to beautify it all. Pasta salad variants also work here. You can try something as simple as mixing chickpeas in a jar with onions, oil, and vinegar, then layering them on top of spiral pasta, a handful of arugula, and a few tablespoons each of olives and feta. When you’re ready to eat, just shake it.

Finally, consider a light lunch or dinner with a drinkable soup like gazpacho. The following recipe is delicious, fresh and easy to keep in an insulated travel mug.

Sippin ‘Green Gazpacho

Yield: 6 cups


2 pounds of English greenhouse cucumbers (about 2 large), chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 cups of roughly chopped arugula

2 cups coarsely chopped mixed tender herbs (such as basil, parsley, coriander and / or mint)

3 tablespoons (or more) of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Kosher salt

3/4 cup (or more) olive oil


1. Puree the cucumber, garlic and 1/2 cup water in a blender until smooth. Add the rocket, herbs, vinegar and a large pinch of salt and puree, scraping the sides of the mixer as necessary until it is very smooth. Let the oil flow in slowly with the engine running; mix until emulsified. (The mixture will turn pale green and creamy looking, almost like a salad dressing; add more oil and / or water if needed.) Try gazpacho and add more salt and vinegar to taste. You want it to be borderline too salty and acidic at room temperature. Transfer the gazpacho to an airtight container. Cover and let cool until very cold, 4-12 hours.

2. Try gazpacho and adjust with a little more salt and / or vinegar as needed before pouring it into chilled glasses.

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Healthy Eating

Shuman Farms Spends the Month of June Giving Back



Reidsville, Georgia – True to their organizational pillars of giving back and sustainability, Shuman Farms spends the month of June making a difference in the communities where their RealSweet® Vidalia® onions are sold. Food insecurity affects millions of families across the US and with the support of their special Feeding America RealSweet Vidalia onion sacks this summer, Shuman Farms will provide 100,000 meals to those in need.

Feeding America® estimates that food insecurity could affect more than 42 million people by 2021, including a potentially 13 million children. The summer holidays are especially tough for children who depend on free or discounted lunches during the school year.

“At Shuman Farms, we believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of what we have been given,” said John Shuman, President and CEO of Shuman Farms. “It’s important not only to achieve this through our sustainability efforts, but also through the way we give back to the local community and the communities in which we operate. Our Feeding America program every June is an important part of that mission. “

Retailers wearing the Feeding America RealSweet Vidalia bags will also be outfitted with in-store signage, display cases, and recommended social media posts to support the initiative and raise awareness of food insecurity in the United States

Shuman Farms’ expanded commitment to giving back was also evident in its own community. Throughout the month, Shuman Farms team members volunteered at their local food bank Feeding America, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, packing nearly 2,500 breakfast bags to be distributed to needy children in communities in southeast Georgia.

In addition to working directly with Feeding America, Shuman Farms will also participate in the Healthy Family Project’s annual Produce for Kids retail campaigns at multiple retailers, including Publix, AWG Springfield and Oklahoma Banners, MDI Banners, Rouses Markets, TOPS Friendly Markets and Stop & deal.

In 2002, John Shuman, President and CEO of Shuman Farms, founded Healthy Family Project®, a cause marketing organization dedicated to creating a healthier generation and giving back to families across the country. Since 2014, the Healthy Family Project has worked with Feeding America to give back to families and children suffering from food insecurity.

“Healthy Family Project was founded in the hope that the food industry would come together and give back to those in need,” Shuman continued. “Now, two decades later, the Healthy Family Project and our partners have raised more than $ 7 million for charities in the United States, including more than 12 million meals donated to Feeding America.”

The 2021 Produce for Kids campaigns will deliver more than 1.3 million meals to more than 65 Feeding America food banks and thousands of pantries across the United States

Shuman Farms started shipping RealSweet Vidalia onions in April and plans to ensure good availability of high quality Vidalia onions during the summer months until they switch to RealSweet premium sweet onions from Peru in September.

About Shuman Farms, Inc.

The family business Shuman Farms, headquartered in the center of the Vidalia® growing region in southeast Georgia, has been in the sweet onion industry for more than 35 years. Today Shuman Farms is an industry leading year round grower and shipper of premium sweet onions. Learn more about Shuman Farms at

About the Healthy Family Project®

The Healthy Family Project believes in creating a healthier generation. As a cause marketing organization, Healthy Family Project creates programs like Produce for Kids that offer simple, fun and inspiring recipes. Since its inception in 2002 by Shuman Farms, the Healthy Family Project has raised more than $ 7 million for charities that support children and families. To learn more about products for children and healthy eating, visit

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