My One Pan Nan mission is to help you have more time around the table with your family and less time over the sink with dirty dishes. But some families around this country aren’t able to share meals. I’ve always been aware that so many people struggle with hunger in this country because of the projects I’ve been involved with at Second Harvest Food Bank (a Feeding America food bank in Nashville), but the magnitude of the situation is even larger than I realized. 1 in 8 Americans are food insecure–meaning they don’t know where there next meal is coming from. 15 million kids and 5 million seniors are included in that number.
My friends at Red Gold Tomatoes are doing something to make a difference and I am so honored to once again work with them. Their “Families Helping Families Crush Hunger” campaign began on Oct. 1. and is looking to donate 1.7 million meals during the month of October by donating one meal to Feeding America for each can of Red Gold, Red Pack, Tuttorosso, or Sacramento tomato product you buy! If you counted up my pantry alone, that’s a lot of meals!
The campaign kicked off down in Baton Rouge last week with a truckload donation of Red Gold products to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. South Louisiana and the Baton Rouge area were crippled by devastating rainfalls this past summer. Tens of thousands of people and homes were affected and many people have lost basically everything. I got to travel down to Louisiana with a camera crew to help tell the story and was so moved by what I saw. Here’s the video story :
First off, the food bank itself was flooded. They lost over 500 thousand pounds of food due to their own building being engulfed in 4 feet of water. Mike Manning, the CEO and President of the food bank and I talked about the devastation and what the food bank will have to go through to get back to where they were preflood. The rebuilding and restocking is going on now and the 23 tons of tomatoes that Red Gold sent down will go along way to putting food back on the shelves. What a team he has there–their hearts and their efforts are in 100 %!
As you saw in the video, we met some amazing people. Sharon Walker and her husband Leonard lived in a neighborhood that was essentially underwater. The only thing left of their house is the roof and the bricks and inside, only the framing studs remains-everything else is gone. Sharon was a professional cook for years and food still is her passion. It was just a few years ago that she remodeled her kitchen with custom cabinetry and brand new stainless steel appliances and she was so proud of it. When the flood waters receded, those beautiful new cabinets had fallen off the walls and the shiny new refrigerator was face down after it had floated to a new location. All ruined. More than 2 months later, Sharon and Leonard are still living in a hotel- slowing putting their lives back together by going room by room through their flood ravaged home and rebuilding as best they can.
Penny Kinchen is a long-time resident of Central, LA and a much-loved school teacher in the community. She and her family lived in a home that was flooded from all sides. It faced the bayous in the front and the Comite River in the back. She said the two sources met inside her home and created a toxic collision of water. The home, built back in the early 1900s, had the original flooring and bead board walls and ceilings that truly became a part of history as the flood waters rose. Her school classroom was destroyed as well, along with books, papers and memories from her students of the last 17 years .
Fortunately, the spirit of the south Louisianans is greater than the need. In the midst of their own loss, I was blown away by their desire to help others. Sharon volunteers at a food pantry that distributes food provided by the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and Penny was nominated in a ‘best teacher’ contest with a $1,000 prize that if she were to win, she plans to use it to buy new furniture for her school.
So as you plan to gather around the dinner table this October with your family, I hope you’ll remember those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and in the case of the folks in Baton Rouge, may not even have a table to put food on. How can you help? Red Gold Tomatoes has made it easy. You can help by simply feeding your own family with the purchase of Red Gold products and cooking up this One Pan Tex Mex Pasta. Since this recipe requires 4 different Red Gold products, you will be feeding your own family as well as another-how easy is that! Red Gold makes giving back easy, as well as tasty.
I hope you all have a great fall season and enjoy some great food. Thanks for stopping by and if you want more recipes, just go to www.helpcrushhunger.com. You’ll find tips on how to get involved, see videos from Red Gold family farmers and more information about the campaign as well. Together, we can help crush hunger!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- Canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8 ounce) can Red Gold Tomato Sauce
- 1 (10 ounce) can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
- 2 cups Red Gold Salsa
- 3 cups Red Gold No Salt Added Tomato Juice
- 1 (16 ounces) can pinto beans, drained
- 1 small can shoe peg corn
- 8 ounces Fideo pasta (cut spaghetti)
- cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- fresh chopped cilantro
- In a large dutch oven, brown ground beef and onion on the stovetop in a little bit of oil on medium high heat.
- Once brown, season with cumin, chili powder and salt.
- Pour in tomato sauce, tomatoes, salsa and tomato juice and stir to combine.
- Add in pinto beans and corn.
- Pour in pasta and stir to mix well.
- Turn heat to low, put the lid on and allow to cook for about 20-30 minutes. Stir a couple of times to prevent sticking. Make sure heat is low.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and return lid for a couple of minutes to melt.
- Top each serving with cilantro, more cheddar cheese (if desired) and sour cream.
- Grab some prepared guacamole at the store (or make your own!), along with some tortilla chips and serve with the pasta.