Another successful kids’ hunger conference complete

Many people around the world just rush through the day to get it over with.

But I believe all of you in this room are of a different mindset.

You are doing what the others are NOT doing.

You are going about your day with a purpose.

And that purpose is to be a changemaker!

Braeden Mannering, during 2019 Coming Together Hunger Conference
Braeden Mannering providing welcome remarks at the beginning of the hunger conference.

We partnered with the Food Bank of Delaware and First Chance Delaware to co-host our 3rd bi-annual kids’ hunger conference which happened yesterday, April 4, 2019. (It was the 5th annual conference for adults). The event was a success and we are so excited to send over 100 letters to Delaware legislators written by the students who attended! These letters include their thoughts about hunger, food insecurity, service and advocacy. Hearing ideas from 1st through 8th graders is amazing. These students are not only intelligent, but also full of compassion!

We had volunteers from Christiana High School attend and help out with the gardening station of the day! They also showed off the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry in all its tie-dyed glory. These students are FFA members and their teacher Mr. Phipps shared them with us for the hunger conference. They were awesome!

The University of Delaware provided demos and educational activities at several stations. They taught about native bees and the importance of pollinators in relation to our food supply. The students learned about veggie regeneration, food waste, food recovery and the cost of nutritional food with a make-shift grocery store! Many thanks to the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources as well as Cooperative Extension!

Did you know there is a way to scan your skin and find out about your nutritional intake? Well there is and it is called a Veggie Meter, at least that is what the Food Bank calls it and they allowed the students and opportunity to check out what their vitamin levels look like.

Learning about the Food Bank of Delaware's Veggie Meter vitamin scanner

The Delaware Farm Bureau made the trip with their Ag Education Mobile Classroom. Laura Simpson said, “The Ag Lab is a traveling classroom that allows kids to see different aspects of agriculture and try it out for themselves.” It was a super fun addition to the conference and we are so grateful Ms. Simpson was able to attend!

Additionally, NFL Play 60 came out to the event and hosted a station about physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. They had their music playing and got the kids moving around. After they got their fitness activity in, the students then moved along to a station which included mindfulness and yoga. It’s so critical for our youth to learn about to decompress and unwind. Their brain health and emotional well being is vital and something they need to make time for every day.

Obviously, it wouldn’t be a 3B hunger conference without hearing about Brae’s Brown Bags and packing some bags of healthy food for those in need in our community. So every student had an opportunity to do just that and they were all excited to help! They helped to pack over 200 bags of healthy food for our homeless and low-income populations.

To end this eventful day we joined the adults, who were partaking in the Food Banks adult track of the conference, for lunch. It was during this time when we had the honor of listening to Jason Brown speak about leaving the NFL to become a farmer in North Carolina. His speech was inspirational and moving. Wise Farmer Brown spoke to all of us about the importance of service, empathy and heart. He said, “Never Stop Giving, Never Stop Loving, Never Stop Growing!” Many thanks to the American Dairy Association Northeast Branch for being a sponsor to the event and connecting us with Farmer Brown!

Wise Farmer, Jason Brown of First Fruits Farm
Wise Farmer, Jason Brown of First Fruits Farm

As always we want to thank every single person who came out to the conference as a participant and volunteer. We thank the many generous sponsors who helped to make this event possible. We truly believe there is no better way to learn and grow as individuals and as a community than through hands-on activity and meaningful opportunities.

Many, many thanks to all of you!

Record breaking frigid temperatures

dyav-wowsaadcyfWhat are they calling it? An arctic vortex? I don’t know what it is, I’m not a meteorologist, but it’s cold, it’s really cold. And it’s not just here in Delaware. Birmingham, Alabama got snow yesterday! The wind chill is -65 degrees in parts of the midwest. Even New Orleans, Louisiana is opening shelters for the homeless to keep them out of the cold, they call it their Citywide Freeze Plan. Cold, scary times.

While Delaware isn’t getting the snow and isn’t currently -50 degrees, it is still wicked cold and our hearts go out to all of our addressless friends who are struggling.

In Delaware, when the temperatures are frigid it is called a Code Purple. Essentially what this means is that emergency sanctuary locations will open for the homeless to stay overnight. The locations are typically open from 6 p.m to 6 a.m. and patrons receive a meal for dinner, our 3B bags when they leave and a bus ticket. It’s not enough, but it’s something and it’s currently all we can do. There are not enough shelters to hold all of our homeless.

An addressless man sitting on a yellow plastic bag in the snow.The emergency sanctuary locations are not homeless shelters. So when they open their doors, they are equipped with volunteers offer. The consistently awesome thing about Delawareans is that they are givers. I am humbled each and every day when I drop off 3B bags and see all of the kind people helping others. I am so grateful.

If you are unable to volunteer, please consider packing a bag of healthy food, water, chap stick, hand warmers, socks and hats and leaving it in your car. If you see someone  in need, then you will have something to give them. Please also consider calling 2-1-1 to find out where the nearest emergency sanctuary or shelter is located. There are often shuttles who will pick up the homeless and take them to the location. Local police will also take them to a shelter.

If you know people who need help and would like us to see what we can do please send an email. We will do our best. We hope you will as well.

Related News

Don’t miss our hunger conference this Spring

Save the Date for the Hunger Conference

Participation is available through a school application process. Schools interested in applying to bring *students to the conference may fill out an online application by clicking here.

Applications are due January 25, 2019.

Agenda/Schedule information will be coming soon.

Station topics include:

Healthy food demonstration
Bee activity
Food waste/recovery
Fitness
Eating on a budget
Vegetable regeneration
Worms and butterfly garden
Brae’s Brown Bag packing
Letters to our Elected Officials
Yoga/Mindfulness

Event registration is now open

We are happy to announce you may now register to attend our 5th Annual 3B Summer Celebration honoring “Every Day Heroes.”

We’re using Eventbrite again this year: https://3b-summer-celebration.eventbrite.com

Please pass along the link, if you received an email because you are on our email list then please forward the email to your friends and family.

We want to make sure this is our biggest, most awesome summer celebration yet. Not just because we’re celebrating five years, but because we are honoring Every Day Local Heroes!

Thank you for your support!

And please let us know if you or anyone you know is interested in sponsoring our event!



We know Girl Scout Troops rock BUT WOW

Girl Scout Troops #537, #841, #67 and #472 know what it means to volunteer for service and they practiced this last week by packing 108 bags for moms and children at Mary’s House of Hope!

You can see a live video feed we took by looking at the bottom of this post.

I talked to them a little bit about Brae’s Brown Bags and then my Mom talked a lot, she just kept going and going.

Then we got down to the real fun, the service!

In the cafeteria of Leasure Elementary School we had a HUGE assembly line set up, it was multiple cafeteria tables.

I showed everyone that if you lay the water bottle down on it’s side in the bag first it will help to keep the bag balanced and make sure nothing gets crushed.

One More Thing

But something else you should know about this event is that the girls had other stations. One table had crafty things so they could write special notes of kindness to put in the bags. The table next to that station had cards to write thank you notes for soldiers. Seeing those extra stations made me think about how much the troops are doing to make positive change. They do a lot and it is really cool.

Thank you so much!

Thank You Delaware FFA #MakingADifferenceTogether

braes bags packedWe would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Delaware FFA for yet again choosing 3B Brae’s Brown Bags to be a service project during their statewide convention in Dover last week.

Their convention is meant to span three days. However, this year due to a snow storm, they ended up cramming LOT of activities into just one day!

Fortunately, they still made time to pack bags of healthy food for those in need in the Kent County area and we are incredibly grateful.

Amanda Powell, Executive Secretary of the Delaware FFA Association, let us know that the FFA students packed 270 bags. They have also already delivered 110 bags to the Salvation Army and 160 bags to Peoples Place both in Dover, Delaware. PLUS they plan on packing EVEN more bags in the near future!

Future Current Leaders

When Brae spoke at the Delaware FFA Convention last year he said, “I think it is safe to say that we all realize food insecurity is a problem, it’s a big problem. And it’s something that one person cannot fix alone. But when we all work together, I have learned we are pretty much unstoppable.”

The Delaware FFA students never cease to amaze us with their dedication and leadership. They are proof that when we all work together, we can make a big difference!

2018 Building a Healthier Future Summit #PHAsummit

It’s really awesome to be able to share information about this year’s “Building a Healthier Future Summit” and to let you know that myself and a few other amazing young people will be panelists during the event. I am honored and humbled to be part of a session with Amber Kelly of Cook with Amber, Haile Thomas of The Happy Organization and Braxton Young of Healthy Little Cooks. It’s even more awesome to know that our friend Tanya Steel will be moderating the panel.

brae-amber-haile-braxton

We will be discussing “Kids’ Secrets on Impacting Kids”, which I think will be a lot of fun, because I believe that age does not matter when it comes to making positive change in the world around you. And I have met a lot of young people who are doing just that! So I hope to see you in a couple months! Let’s help create a healthier future together!

See more about the speakers who will be attending and presenting at this event from May 2 through May 4 in Washington, DC by visiting the Summit Sessions page of their website.

Other speakers include:

and many, many more!summit-youtube

Feeding Better Futures with DoSomething.org and General Mills

To all my friends who are interested in hunger relief and food related issues. There are so many of us who want to help and have really awesome ideas, but maybe we’re not sure how to make them happen or who to tell. Which is okay, because with the Feeding Better Futures campaign you can become the changemaker you always knew that you were meant to be!

General Mills with the help of DoSomething.org is asking youth to give them their best ideas and let them know how you would like to implement them. They want to tackle hunger relief and sustainable agriculture. That means things like food deserts, food waste, water quality and conservation, pollinator health, and soil health and preservation.

square-crop-CYou’re probably learning about food waste, food supply and water conservation in school, so take that knowledge and apply it to a way you can help and then teach others to help. We have the power to make big changes in the world, so take the first step and apply.

To submit your idea to DoSomething.org for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship you have until February 28, 2018.

You can send in your submissions to General Mills, Feeding Better Futures through Monday, March 5, 2018.

In June, a grand prize winner will receive $50,000, be introduced to an industry mentor and get busy prepping for Aspen Ideas Festival.

Hurricane Help

texashelpRecently, we sent three big boxes of items down to Clear Lake Food Pantry at Clear Lake Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, to help them with their efforts in assisting those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We sent 3B Brae’s Brown Bags with healthy food, clean water and messages of hope, but we also sent t-shirts, tooth brushes and things like that.

The letter in each bag included a message to express hope and let the receiver of the bag know that people all over the world are praying for Texas, even me and my family up in Delaware. Other places seeking to help Houston can be found in this NPR article: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list

Soon after Harvey hit, as we all know, Irma then hit and destroyed whole islands in her path along with many many homes. We’re looking for places to assist in Florida and in the US Virgin Islands, but we realize there are many places still flooded, without power, and many down trees, so we’re playing it by ear and trying to figure out the best way to help.

In the meantime there are plenty of non-profits in Florida who are already there doing good work and helping people in need. It is suggested not to send things like clothing unless specifically asked especially since smaller places may not have a way to store things.

Here are some places currently helping aid people in Florida:

▪ The Miami Foundation

▪ The Greater Miami Jewish Federation

▪ The United Way of Miami

▪ The United Way of Broward

▪ Catholic Charities

▪ South Florida Muslim Federation

▪ Food for the Poor

▪ Hope South Florida

NPR also has an article about helping people  impacted by Hurricane Irma:
Governor Kenneth Mapp of the US Virgin Islands has expressed that while they are getting help, they need more. He asked that people who’d like to help log onto USVIrecovery.org.
…..
Friendly Reminder
Also, just as a reminder to people local in Delaware, Brae’s Brown Bags will be at the Read House and Gardens Farm 2 Fork event hosted by the Delaware Historical Society on Saturday, September 16th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a family friendly backyard expo that brings together several community organizations to explore urban gardening and food access through fun, educational hands on activities. Bring donations for the Food Bank of Delaware!