“Potatoes hold so many nutrients they can be lived off of!”― Chef Joe Corso, Long Beach Organic
On Wednesday, I attended a Tasty Potato Thanksgiving side dish cooking demonstration at Long Beach State University’s ASI Beach Kitchen with Chef Joe Corso from Long Beach Organic. The demo was hosted as part of the nationwide Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.
Corso discussed the many health benefits and uses for potatoes in a variety of settings. He taught participants how to prepare, cut, and cook potatoes that led to a tasty demonstration of a Thanksgiving potato side.
He demonstrated how to cook both mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes. Everyone was able to learn and leave the demonstration with tasty potatoes in hand. As a student myself, I learned new neat cooking hacks, such as how to mince garlic without a garlic press. It was an overall fun and engaging experience that is very valuable to vulnerable students during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.
“We use pantry ingredients and teach people how to make tasty treats,” student Maggie Bauer, a Nutrition and Dietetics major at CSULB, said. “We understand that not all students have a Thanksgiving celebration to go to, so we help encourage and teach students how to prepare and cook an easy meal for themselves.”
During Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, LBSU’s ASI Beach Kitchen in particular is helping students learn cooking skills through budget-friendly food preparation demonstrations this week.
CSU Long Beach is one of the universities hosting events on its campus in order to raise awareness as part of this week. Events include:
- canned food drives,
- discussion and leadership panels to educate students about the importance of unity to spread awareness about homelessness and hunger,
- fundraisers to support students in need, and
- outreach and resource fairs for students to learn more about homelessness and hunger awareness.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week began in 1975 at Villanova University and was started by inspired students who were eager to use their education to coordinate a week of awareness events prior to Thanksgiving week, November 13-20th.
Today, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign against Hunger are able to sponsor more than 700 colleges, organizations, highschools, and groups across the country for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
This special week is dedicated to educating the public, bringing awareness to the problem of poverty, and drawing more volunteers towards local anti-poverty groups.
In the U.S, more than 37.2 million people live below the poverty level, with 44 million Americans suffering from hunger. In Long Beach as of February 2022, 3,296 people reported or were otherwise identified as experiencing homelessness.
Especially in light of the holidays, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week is crucial in order to continue to spread love and support to all of those in need.
You can help those in need during this season by continuing to spread awareness, donating to local causes, and volunteering with anti-poverty organizations.
If you want to learn more about Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, go to hhweek.org/get-involved/ or their Instagram page @hhweek.
By Sinai Miranda, Art from Ashes Creative Intern