One of the most meaningful things I do during the week is volunteering with Share our Strength (SOS). This inspirational organization has pledged to eradicate childhood hunger by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs (e.g., school breakfasts and lunches over summer break). They also help to make their flagship campaign, No Kid Hungry a reality in Washington, DC, through Cooking Matters—a program that teaches families how to shop and cook healthy meals on a budget.

Every year, SOS hosts Taste of the Nation events in cities around the country. These gatherings bring together some of the best chefs in America to help raise money and awareness for the childhood hunger epidemic. For the last 26 years, the Washington, DC, event has become a tradition and it wouldn’t be a success without the tireless work of hundreds of volunteers who believe in SOS’ mission. Individuals do everything from recruiting sponsors and coordinating on-site operations to event promotion and working with corporate companies to get auction items.

My volunteer experience includes supporting SOS’ annual Taste of the Nation event in Washington, DC. While Taste revolves around food and drinks, SOS focuses on ensuring that everyone in attendance remembers why they are really there—feeding children across the United States. This fearless goal is one that I believe in and why I remain committed to help make this special event happen. For the past four years, I have spent my free time volunteering with the Taste of the Nation restaurant committee. Our team of approximately 10 people reaches out to restaurants to encourage their participation and help with promotion. More than 90 restaurants participated at this year’s Taste of the Nation event. Together, this event embodies the attendees’ collective pledge that there will be a day when there is no hungry child in the United States.

I feel strongly about the work that is done with the money raised at events such as this. All proceeds from Taste of the Nation go towards feeding the one kid out of every five that goes without a meal on a daily basis. The fact that 20 percent of kids go hungry is a scary statistic, but it’s also one that I know can be changed. We can all make a difference and I choose to make mine by putting my time and money towards SOS’ worthy mission. To learn more about SOS or Taste of the Nation check out their website or click here find a event near you.

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