Everyday Steps To Feed the Hungry


feed the hungry, end hunger, feed just oneHow can one person make a difference? Are there really simple, everyday steps anyone can take to end hunger by helping feed the hungry both close to home and around the country?

According to Feeding America, roughly 49 million people in the U.S. are food insecure (meaning they are not always sure where their next meal will come from). The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture states that 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger each year (maybe someone at your school, work, or church?). With stats like those, how can we possibly hope to fix the problem? One day, one step, one person, one family at a time!

What are some everyday steps you can take to feed the hungry in your community?

Collect Canned Goods for a Local Food Bank
Use Feeding America’s handy search tool to find your local food bank and see what types of canned goods and items they need.  Our North Texas Food Bank has lots of options – directions for citizens to donate canned goods or funds, tools for conducting a food drive to collect donations, and even an online virtual food drive that’s easy to coordinate for your work place or neighborhood.

Check the food bank’s list of needed items and grab a few of those items each time you shop for your own family at the grocery store; then at the end of the month, let the kids help take the donation to the food bank.

Also, most food banks accept corporate food donations from companies that prefer to donate rather than allowing extra goods to spoil.

food bank, end hunger, canned food drive


Donate a Meal every time you Eat Out
Use the free app TangoTab and donate a meal for someone in need every time you eat out at a participating restaurant in your area.  The TangoTab app lists participating nearby restaurants along with exclusive offers or deals for those restaurants.  When you check in at that restaurant through the app, TangoTab makes a donation to a local food charity, providing a meal for someone in need.

So … when you eat, a hungry person in your community also gets to eat.  It’s super easy! (In America, 50 million people struggle to find their next meal on a daily basis; every week in America over 1 billion meals are served in restaurants.  With TangoTab, each one of those restaurant meals would also provide a meal for someone who needs it).

tango tab app, end hunger, food banks

Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to seniors across the country.  They have several options for volunteers – preparing and packaging meals, delivering meals, serving meals at group socials for seniors who are able to leave their homes, or even helping out with admin tasks in the office.

Regardless of how you choose to serve, you will be making a difference and helping feed the hungry day-in and day-out.

meals on wheels, end hunger, delivering food to seniors

Give Every Time you Shop
We do it almost every day, right?  Some kind of shopping – clothing, shoes, home goods, groceries, jewelry, accessories, and on and on …  Do your shopping through Giving Assistant, and earn cash back for purchases; PLUS they will donate a meal for every purchase made through their site.  Hard to beat that — discounts, money back, and help feeding the hungry without any extra work or effort!

Do lots of shopping on Amazon?  Log in to Amazon Smile each time you shop and choose a charity to receive a small donation each time you make a purchase (Meals on Wheels, your local food bank, or another charity helping to feed the hungry).

In addition, many grocery store chains have rewards programs that allow members to select a local charity to receive a small donation each time they shop (see if your local food bank is on the list and help them out).

give to feed the hungry when you shop, end hunger

Talk to Your Children About Feeding the Hungry
Inspire your children to help feed the hungry. Talk with them about the needs of others in the community, let them help gather donations or share their coins, and see how they, too, can choose to make a difference in the world with these everyday steps. (Feeding America provides a great children toolkit and family activities toolkit — including coloring pages — to help families talk with children about the importance of making a difference and feeding the hungry).

Of course, there are many other great organizations around the country, both large and small, striving to make a difference in this arena — organizations providing lunches for children during the summer who would normally get a free lunch at school during the school year, ones that feed the homeless and destitute in small communities, organizations that run community gardens to provide fresh vegetables and food for locals, and much more.  Find one in your area and help provide some much needed support.

So, what do you think?  Are some of these steps already in your regular routine?  Do you have other ideas or suggestions for everyday things we can do to help end hunger and provide food for the hungry?  We’d love to hear your suggestions!

All-Natural, Chemical-Free Rust Removal for Kitchen Knives

All natural non-toxic rust remover, kitchen knives, lemon, baking sodaLooking for a non-toxic, chemical-free natural way to remove rust from those kitchen knives?

Sure, we know that it is better to wash those knives by hand (keeping the stainless steel in ship-shape condition).

But the dishwasher is calling — and it seems like too much time and work to wash those things by hand (it probably won’t really matter, right?)!

And then it happens – the first couple of rust spots appear, and we think, “Huh-oh!” …. but it’s still too much trouble to hand-wash those knives, and so the cycle continues.

After a while, we realize the knives are being taken over by rust spots (as you can see on these two knives from our kitchen) and something needs to be done.

kitchen knives, rust spots, natural rust remover

If you are concerned with keeping your family healthy and your kitchen chemical-free (as much as possible), then you might be avoiding the “rust remover” products sold in most stores, including Bar Keepers Friend (which actually works very effectively and quickly in removing rust spots — as long as you don’t mind the chemicals).

So, we decided to try the natural rust removal solutions of lemon juice or baking powder and see if they would actually work on our knives in our kitchen.

In order to avoid wasting a large volume of lemon juice, we simply spooned a small amount of lemon juice directly onto the side of the knife laid out on a kitchen towel. The lemon juice was thick enough to “sit” on the side of the knife without running off. We left it sitting for 30 minutes (to make sure it had plenty of time to work, especially given the number of rust spots that needed to be removed).

kitchen knives with rust, lemon juice, natural rust removal

It did take 4 or 5 minutes of scrubbing with a scouring pad in order to completely remove the rust spots, but it was effective and the knife was now shiny clean.  That one had to soak pretty long, though, and even then took quite a bit of scrubbing.

Next we tried the baking soda, pouring a little baking soda on one side of the knife, used our fingertips with a few drops of water to gently mix the baking soda into a paste, and let that sit for about 2 minutes.

kitchen knives with baking soda, natural rust remover

With the scouring pad, we were able to remove all of the rust spots with only a minute or two of intense scrubbing.  Voila!  Again, our knives were shiny clean (this time with much less time and scrubbing involved!).

The lesson learned – both of these natural, non-toxic, chemical-free rust removal techniques were completely effective.  But the baking soda took us less time, both in soaking and scrubbing, which is perfect (since … hey, we were the ones who didn’t want to spend the time hand-washing the knives in the first place!).

Now the two stainless steel knives that were covered in rust spots are bright, shiny clean again, and we don’t have to be embarrassed to pull them out and use them.  Of course, we should probably consider hand-washing them from now on (avoiding the need for this whole process in the future).

clean kitchen knives, lemon juice, baking soda, natural rust remover

Keep your kitchen knives clean in a chemical-free, non-toxic fashion with lemon juice or baking soda as a natural rust remover.

Do you hand-wash your knives or occasionally run them through the dishwasher?  Do you have other rust removal or cleaning tips you’d like to share?  Please leave us a comment and let us know!


Related Posts:

5 Everyday Household Uses for Vinegar

3 Ways to Freshen Your Kitchen with Lemons

Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaner

Non-Toxic Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash

How to Care for your Nonstick Pans

7 Must-Try Healthy Dinner Recipes for the Heart



7 heart healthy dinner recipes

We are celebrating American Heart Month and sharing some healthy dinner recipes for your heart!  Did you know that according to the American Heart Association, 1 in 4 deaths every year (across both men and women) are caused by heart disease?

In addition to staying active, controlling cholesterol and managing stress, eating healthy is a great way to keep your heart ticking strong and robust for years to come.

So, let’s take a step towards a healthier heart and explore some healthy recipes.  (As a rule, when using canned goods be sure to use low-salt or sodium-free versions, and make sure to rinse and drain canned vegetables.)

These dinner recipes will keep your tummy and your heart happy with robust flavor from terrific spices and ingredients.

1. Minestrone tops our list and is a vegetarian meal as well.  This hearty soup is filled with veggies like zucchini, tomatoes and green beans along with a bit of pasta (and it’s so easy, you can have dinner ready in less than 45 minutes).


bowl of delicious minestrone soup on plate with spoon and crackers, soup recipes, healthy recipes


2. Mediterranean Pan Roasted Salmon is next up, a one-skillet dish with loads of seasonings, some fennel and tomatoes; garnish with lemon wedges.  (And this easy dish is ready in about 20 minutes!  Who says eating healthy is too much work?).


mediterranean pan roasted salmon, one-pot meal, healthy recipes


3. Pork Tenderloin marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar with seasonings, then grilled with peppers and served over black beans with some of the reserved oil and vinegar sauce.

marinated pork loin with black beans, healthy recipePhoto by Ditte Isager


4. Country Chicken with Mushroom Sauce – Chicken is cooked in a white wine mushroom sauce and served with the sauce over whole wheat pasta or brown rice.


country chicken with mushroom sauce, healthy recipes


5. Pasta with Asparagus, Tomato and Feta – another vegetarian option.  Use whole grain pasta for healthiest dish; so quick and easy it’s perfect for lunch or dinner.


pasta with asparagus, tomatoes, and feta, healthy recipes, vegetarian recipes


6. Fennel-Garlic Braised Brisket – this brisket is braised and then cooked in a tomato garlic fennel sauce and served with roasted red bell peppers and potatoes.  It is well worth the wait (enduring the amazing smell as it cooks half the day).


fennel garlic braised brisket, healthy recipes, dinner recipes


7. Sweet BBQ Chicken Kabobs wrap up our heart healthy recipes list.  Fill your kabob skewers with chicken, pineapple, and red and green peppers; season with BBQ sauce and a little orange juice, and grill to perfection.


BBQ chicken kabobs, grilling recipes, BBQ recipes, family cookout, healthy recipes


Reader’s Digest and WebMD have compiled lists of best foods for a healthy heart, including berries, almonds, walnuts, whole grains, olive oil, avocado, beans (legumes), and dark chocolate.  Add some of these foods to your regimen in the coming weeks and give your heart a healthy boost.

Do you follow a heart-healthy regimen?  What are your favorite dishes or tips for a healthy heart?


online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

11 Easy Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less


 11 easy recipes with 5 ingredients or lessDo you have those nights when you wish you could just grab something quick to eat on the go, figuring it’s going to take too long to prepare a home-cooked meal?

Or maybe you haven’t done much cooking and are afraid that preparing a home-cooked meal is just too complicated, requiring too many ingredients and too much work?

Well, let’s get rid of those worries! These 11 easy recipes each have no more than 5 ingredients and will fit the bill for you and your family one night this week.

These terrific dishes include shrimp recipes, dessert recipes, vegetarian recipes, even gluten-free and dairy-free options. What’s not to love? Let’s get started!

1. Grilled Basil Halibut with Jalapeno Butter — An easy grilled dish that can be made with halibut, cod, or flounder, served with homemade jalapeno butter sauce and fresh basil.

basil halibut with jalapeno butter, fish recipes, seafood, healthy recipes


2. Bacon, Onion & Swiss Pork Chops  — Broiled pork chops topped with a slice of Swiss cheese and served with skillet cooked bacon and onion slices.

3. Tomato, Basil and Feta Salad —  this salad is so easy!  Sliced tomatoes are drizzled with olive oil and vinegar, and then sprinkled with chopped fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese.

tomato, basil and feta salad, healthy recipes


4. New England Shrimp Rolls — Chopped shrimp mixed with celery, parsley and light mayonnaise served on buttered and toasted buns.

new england shrimp rolls, shrimp recipe


5. Berry Baked Apples  —  Fill fresh apples with a mixture of berries and honey, topped off with granola, cinnamon and honey, and then bake for a special treat!

berry baked apples, easy dessert recipe, apples and berry granola


6. Pineapple Teriyaki Shrimp — Shrimp is stir-fried in a teriyaki glaze with fresh pineapple and green onions, then served over rice for a delicious meal; use quick-cook rice and have dinner ready in 20 minutes.

7. Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pies — Individual servings of chicken pot pie using frozen vegetables with Progresso’s chicken pot pie style soup, topped with frozen buttermilk biscuits, so dinner is ready in about 25 minutes.

quick and easy chicken pot pie, 5 ingredient recipes, easy dinner recipes, chicken recipes

8. Chocolate Dump Cake  — Rich, chocolate cake made with pudding mix, cake mix, and chocolate chips – super easy and decadent.

chocolate dump cake, easy recipe, dessert recipe


9. Gluten-Free Orange Beef and Broccoli — quick easy week night meal made in one skillet with sliced top round beef, mandarin oranges, and broccoli florets in an orange sauce, served with rice.

gluten-free orange beef and broccoli, easy recipes, healthy recipe

10. BLT Salad with Avocado — For when you’re craving a BLT sandwich, but know you need to eat healthier than that.  Yep, this salad is for you!

BLT salad with avocado, healthy recipe, easy recipe


11. Chocolate Filled Crescents — These easy treats can be whipped up in about 10 minutes, perfect for short notice.  Crescents rolled up with chocolate chips inside and dusted with powdered sugar after baking.  Delightful!

chocolate filled crescents, easy recipe, dessert recipe


If you are already a pro at getting dinner on the table each night, which recipes are your favorite go-to’s when you need a quick and easy recipe?  Please leave us a comment with your thoughts.


Happy Dishing!