Food: On Singing the Body Electric

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For a thin woman who eats mostly standing up or in her car, I think about food a lot. Several friends are incredible cooks and all are especially social, thus our gatherings are full of food and laughter and joie de vivre. We count ourselves lucky, acknowledging it as we individually and collectively commit time and energy to causes we care about to say “thank you” and “how can I help?”

So while some of my thinking about food is focused on the next place for a gourmet potluck or reservations for 20, mostly I think about ways to raise money and food to feed people that don’t have any. My epitaph may say “I told you peanut butter could feed the world.”

In the interim, Blessings in a Backpack, Inc., announced December 19 that in 2012 it will feed 35,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade in JCPS who qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program thanks to “a bunch of people moving forward,” according to Stan Curtis, Blessing’s progenitor and, well, Stan the Man. What began with Roosevelt Perry more than six years ago as the dream of a paralegal at Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs named Missy Hammerstrom was in 43 schools and feeding locally over 6,000 kids each weekend during the 2011 school year. Additionally, Blessings is operating in about two-thirds of the US, Canada, and South America. So when I say anything is possible if you think it is, I can back that up.

While the world lost Missy to cancer over a year ago, her legacy is thriving. She and Stan are visionaries. My wish for anyone who cares about making an impact is to get on the ground floor of a project and witness it expand at the hands and feet and minds of people who are committed to making a change. “We arrived at this destination through a lot of plotting and conniving, but we got here,” Curtis said. “When America hears about this declaration of war on childhood hunger” the momentum will prove unstoppable. That kind of passion is a thing to behold, and perhaps not as hard to find as one may believe. In fact, once you’re open to seeing it, my money is on it finding you.

As the new year dawns I am filled with excitement and anticipation about the projects and the people who will find me. I think my lesson today and long term is simply to stay open; to embrace possibility; to emulate Tina Fey and the magic of improvisation to say ‘Yes! And….’ to what life offers me and to ride fearlessness on the back of a crocodile like the Goddess Akhilandeshvari.

I look forward to seeing Junior League Louisville refine its BeFitBeFine initiative for the health and wealth of kids and families through its urban garden project and several others. It will be great to watch what various organizations do to increase access in all parts of the city to healthy food and knowledge about good nutrition. I can’t wait to see the strategy employed to motivate people to get fit and lift us out of our ranking as one of the unhealthiest places to live, with some of the highest obesity levels in the country.

Like Irene Cara in Fame, I’m singing “The Body Electric” in 2012. May we all realize even an eensy bit of our potential to grow and to give and to help each other be stars.


I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun
And I’ll look back on Venus
I’ll look back on Mars
And I’ll burn with the fire of ten million stars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

The original post is over on nFocus Louisville.


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