Category Archives: Philanthropy


Giving Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I’m proud to be a food blogger. An abundance of wholesome, organic, nutritious foodstuff is at my fingertips or a just a quick trip to the grocer away. If I run out of something, whether basic or artisan, I Just Buy More. Food insecurity, a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food [USDA definition], is not part of my daily reality. I live on a nice street in a nice house with nice neighbors in affluent Fairfax County. But get this: last school year, over 50% of the children in my neighborhood’s elementary school were eligible for free or reduced meals. And in an elementary school whose boundary is adjacent to mine, 78% of the children were eligible for free or reduced meals. Food insecurity is likely a daily reality for those children.

Food insecurity is separate from hunger, although hunger is a very real consequence of food insecurity. According to the USDA, households with food insecurity regularly experience some or all of the following:

  • Worry that their food would run out before they got money to buy more.
  • Could not afford to eat balanced meals.
  • Cut the size of meals or skipped meals, or did not eat for a whole day, because there was not enough money for food.
  • Were hungry but did not eat because they could not afford enough food.

The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) is the hub for food sourcing, food distribution, and nutrition education in the Washington metro area, serving those struggling with hunger. Through direct service and a network of 500 nonprofit partners, the CAFB distributes 45 million pounds of food annually, half of which is fresh produce. The CAFB service area includes: Washington DC; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; Fairfax County, VA; Prince William County, VA; Arlington County, VA; and The City of Alexandria, VA. 92 cents of every $1 donated is used for food distribution, transportation, and programs.

For Giving Tuesday, I am launching a food drive at my office to collect non-perishable food donations and I will personally deliver those to CAFB later this month. The Capital Area Food Bank receives over a million pounds of nourishing food throughout the year from food drives like these. By their calculations, 1.2 pounds of food equals one meal, so I asked my colleagues to let that guide their contribution. The CAFB is committed to providing food to our community that is high in fiber, low in salt, and low in sugar. The “Most Wanted” items include:

  • Canned Tuna, Salmon, or Chicken
  • Canned Vegetables (low sodium, no salt added)
  • Canned Fruits (in light syrup or its own juices)
  • Canned or Dry Beans
  • Grains (brown & white rice, pasta, macaroni & cheese)
  • Hot and Cold Cereal (oatmeal, cheerios, corn-flakes, raisin bran)
  • Healthy Snacks (apple sauce cups, raisins, granola bars)
  • Peanut Butter
  • 100% Juice (non-refrigerated, all sizes, including juice boxes)

If you were so moved to make a financial donation, I direct you here: For every $1 donated, the CAFB can provide 2.5 meals!


logo source:


Will Bake for Charity


[photo: Colleen Fishter]


[photo: Colleen Fishter]


[photo: Colleen Fishter]






So a friend of mine is on the board of MCPAW (Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being). MCPAW is a 501c3 organization working as a public/private partnership with the Montgomery County (Maryland) government to build, enhance, and maintain the new state-of-the-art Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center being built in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Elizabeth knows I am an animal lover and staunch supporter of animal shelter adoptions (she once overheard me chastising a co-worker for his impulse purchase of a puppy mill puppy for his girlfriend), so she asked if I would attend Ladies Night Out with MCPAW (pampering for a good cause), and, oh by the way, would I consider baking something delicious for the dessert table? How could I say no? Silent auction, beauty samples, and supporting a cause near and dear to my heart — of course!

Joining in the fun were my co-workers Beverly and Carely:


Beverly, Elizabeth, Me,
and Carely
[photo: Colleen Fishter]


Carely checking out
some earrings
[photo: Colleen Fishter]


Beverly admiring a
makeup case
[photo: Colleen Fishter]







I’ve been developing a citrus sweet bread using olive oil rather than butter. I love the flavor of olive oil — that earthy almost grassy undertone that really pairs well with citrus. It also might be marginally more “healthy” than using butter? This bread has a lovely light texture, a bright citrus flavor, and a mild olive oil background. It’s not overly sweet, so it would be lovely for breakfast with coffee, or, as with our event, on a dessert table with wine.

Lemon Olive Oil Bread

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan by spraying with baking spray, lining with a parchment sling, and spraying the sling with baking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle beater, mix the oil, sugar, eggs, zest and juice until well combined.

STOP mixer. Dump in half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until incorporated.
STOP mixer. Add the buttermilk and mix on low until incorporated.
STOP mixer. Add the second half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the loaf at 375F for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan, lower the heat to 350F, and cook another 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with only a few crumbs).

Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting (okay, at least cool to barely warm!).


This is Keith and my animal shelter adoption — a male chocolate cocker spaniel who has since gone to Doggie Heaven. He was completely nuts but much beloved and is still very much missed!


This is the FABULOUS bag I “won” in the silent auction. Yes, it really is as pink as it looks … pearlescent, even :)


And my own browsing …


[photo: Colleen Fishter]


[photo: Colleen Fishter]