Mega-food blogger Aimee Wimbush-Bourque of Simple Bites emailed me recently to say that, after meeting with another big blogger, they decided “blogging isn’t enough anymore. We want to use our platforms to help others, to do some good, to make a difference.”
So Amy contacted World Vision, and began raising funds for hunger relief in Kenya. She created recipe cards as part of a box of Kenyan products, which she promoted on Instagram.
Food bloggers who help others is a big trend in Canda, it turns out.
I asked Melissa Hartfiel, co-founder of Food Bloggers of Canada (FBC), to tell me more about this trend. It turns out that FBC has helped make connections happen. “Canadian food bloggers have been ‘doing more’ for a very long time,” she wrote in an email.
She even knew how Aimee hooked up with the charity. “Dennis Prescott does a lot of work with World Vision,” she wrote. “His wife, Leanne, works for WV and I think that’s how Aimee got involved. The three of them met at our conference this past year. FBC did a program with WV this fall and facilitated new relationships with Toronto area bloggers.”
At my request, Melissa sent this list of more food bloggers helping others (although she hesitated to single anyone out for fear of missing so many):
- “FBC has been a tireless supporter of Food Revolution day and of getting kids in the kitchen. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who works harder than Mardi Michels to promote cooking skills to young children with her petite chefs program and all the community involvement. And it’s not just her. A big crew of Toronto area bloggers works with Food Revolution day and work with it all year long.
- “Meghan Telpner publishes an e-book every year through her Academy of Culinary Nutrition with recipes from her students. The proceeds go to charity. Last year I think she did Pencils of Promise.
- “Dan Clapson started the Start From Scratch program in Calgary several years ago. Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon food bloggers taught free cooking classes to first year university students to get them eating real food instead of boxed mac ‘n cheese.
- “Alberta is a hotbed of blogger community involvement. They do annual blogger bake sales for local charities and causes. Vancouver also used to do a lot of blogger bake sales. I remember participating in one for the Japanese Earthquake relief fund.
- “Many provinces across Canada have some kind of “below the line” program where they challenge local politicians and celebrities to live on a social assistance income for one month, or they’re allowed a food budget of a certain amount to live on for the month. Several food bloggers blogged about living on a small food budget for a month to raise awareness and show how you can eat healthy on a small budget. Jax from Cooking with Jax did a recent post.
- “FBC partnered with Toonies For Tummies, a school breakfast program. Many of the bloggers who partnered with them did so initially through FBC.
- “So many of our members teach community cooking classes. I couldn’t even count them all. Members in small towns are incredibly active, volunteering with local shelters or churches to help others. And the big city bloggers do it as well.
- “We’ve also worked with Foodbanks Canada over the years and encouraged our members to do so as well. We just partnered with MealShare, which works with the restaurant industry to provide meals for those who can’t afford them, mostly children.
So now American food bloggers, have you done projects like these or know other food bloggers who help others? Let’s not let the Canadians show us up, eh?