Food Job: Making a Difference

Relief Work, Lobbying, Advocacy


If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.

—Betty Reese

The consequences of hunger are infinitely greater than the immediate= problems of not having enough to eat. Being unable to find adequate amounts of food quickly leads to irreversible deterioration of mental as well as physical health.

            A. A. Milne, the beloved author of Winnie the Pooh said, “In the quiet hours when we are alone and there is nobody to tell us what fine fellows we are, we come sometimes upon a moment in which we wonder, not how much money we are earning, not how famous we have become, but what good we are doing.”

            Many chefs these days are fine fellows: they do well by being good neighbors. They volunteer at local food banks, the Feeding America hunger-relief charity, and with other organizations. Mario Batali is one among many who have created their own philanthropies. His is called the Mario Batali Foundation. As Batali has said, “Those of us who are fortunate enough to make a living feeding people have a very clear view of those who cannot afford to eat.”

            Cat Cora’s foundation, Chefs for Humanity, is an alliance of culinary professionals and educators working with US and global organizations. It provides nutrition education, hunger relief, and emergency and humanitarian aid to reduce hunger across the world. She and her coworkers personify President Ronald Reagan’s philosophy when he said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

            Share Our Strength is a national organization whose mission is to make sure that no child in America grows up hungry. The country’s leading hunger-fighting organizations—Meals on Wheels, City Harvest, Feeding America Entertainment Council, and Food Banks—weave together networks of community groups, activists, and food programs in hundreds of communities in order to supply children and adults facing hunger with nutritious food where they live, learn, and play.

            Chefs and restaurateurs Charlie Trotter and Marcus Samuelsson are two more among the fine fellows I mentioned. They have spent innumerable hours supporting nutrition education and hunger relief organizations.

            Almost all major fast food chains have established charitable foundations as well. One of the most visible programs is the Ronald McDonald House for parents of children in hospitals. The PepsiCo Foundation, too, focuses on health and wellness, youth development, and higher education.

            Other soft drink companies have established company foundations as well. The Coca-Cola Foundation, for instance, also concentrates its energies on education. Its programs include a scholars program that gives two-year college scholarships to high school seniors and provides extensive funding for many other causes. Most large fast food chains, junk food manufacturers, and soda makers give to or have started philanthropies.

            The Arby’s Foundation, established in 1986, has focused on Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which has helped children from primarily single-parent homes by matching them with adult volunteers. Domino’s Pizza supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with terminal medical conditions. The Ingram- White Castle Foundation gives scholarships to college students.

            In the soft drink world, Claude A. Hatcher, founder of Royal Crown Cola, established the Pichett-Hatcher Education Fund in 1933. By 1968, this fund had assets of almost $5 million and was one of the largest student loan funds of its kind in America.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were trailblazers in the food industry. They funded their foundation in 1985, with an endowment of Ben & Jerry’s stock. Their employee-based community action teams lead the foundation and distribute grants to surrounding communities.

            Ben & Jerry’s has always held certain values, and these have permeated every aspect of their business. Their brilliant Heifer International Foundation enables even those who have little to give to offer a living gift that truly keeps on giving. The gift of a cow costs $500, but anyone can contribute just $50.00 for a cow share. The foundation helps children and families around the world receive the nutrients, training, and supplies they need to live more self-reliant lives. When, for example, a family receives a heifer, every morning there’s a glass of fresh, rich milk for the children to drink before heading off to school.

            Likewise through Heifer International, one can buy a whole goat for $120 or contribute $10 for a share. Goats provide up to a gallon of rich, nutritious milk each day and don’t need large tracts of land for grazing. Sheep as well can be gifted for $120 each. Their wool can be used to make clothes and their manure turned into fertilizer. Finally, their mutton may provide a good dinner, while two sheep will produce even more little lambs.

            There are still more animals available through Heifer International. Chickens require little, but give a lot. They don’t take up much space and can thrive on food scraps. A flock of little chicks costs just twenty dollars. Three rabbits cost sixty dollars, or ten dollars a share—and they breed, well, like rabbits. A pig too, might make a perfect present. And it is also possible to donate funds for a pair of ducks, a beehive, or the “Noah’s Ark” gift package ($5,000), which is a true farmyard of fifteen lady and gentleman pairs of food-producing animals and a hive of bees. Heifer International’s animals are like living savings accounts for struggling families.

All these organizations welcome full and part-time paid workers and volunteers to help with marketing, event planning, accounting, and other management skills. Learning about the many opportunities to help those in need is like discovering a Hansel and Gretel trail of crumbs; a foodie fairy tale with a happy ending. Small crumbs are transformed into loaves and fishes that feed many thousands.

Food Job: Advocate/Volunteer

Food for Thought

“FoodCorps places motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service.” Explore the possibilities at


Success Story

As a 21-year-old, Wendy Kopp raised $2.5 million of start-up funding, hired a skeleton staff, and launched a grass-roots recruitment campaign. During Teach For America’s first year in 1990, 500 men and women began teaching in six low-income communities across the country.


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

—Winston Churchill

This is an extract from Food Jobs 2

Finding Your Food Job “Bliss”

blissA goal is a dream with a deadline. There are so many choices and this too often results in paralysis.

My website designer, Randy Caruso, asked me to describe myself in just three words. I decided I am a writer, teacher and mentor. These are the three things I most enjoy.

If I may, I’d like to give you an example for my own life. For two years, I taught a course in Gastronomy but I was passed over when I applied for a full-time position on the faculty. The evaluations from the students were spectacular and I loved teaching the class.

There was just one problem. Continue reading

CIA Student Sees the World

Erica Murphy, CIA Graduate & Culinary Adventurer

Erica Murphy, CIA Graduate & Culinary Adventurer

Here, below, is a message I received from one of my former (brilliant) students, who went on a culinary adventure as a way to find her food job. I am awed by her courage and initiative to grasp life in both hands.  Her name is Erica Murphy.

“I sold all of my belongings, rented my townhouse in Colorado, left my job at a resort where I was working and went to Italy to volunteer on organic farms and vineyards with the Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) organization. I spent 2011 and 2012 traveling and farming from the Alps to Sicily and everywhere in between.

Every three months I had to leave the country I was in as I had no visa. So I spent waiting time pulling pints of Guinness in Ireland, cooking in an organic cafe on the Beara Peninsula and then a few months in Turkey and the Balkan countries doing everything from holding conversational English classes to working at a hostel. It’s been quite the adventure!

I started a blog ( The goal of all of this travel, besides a wonderful experience, was to have a chance to really develop myself and learn the authentic regional culinary specialties of Italy while living with local families, and–to find my way into the culinary tourism industry in Italy.

The day I left (Nov 2, 2012), I was offered a position with a company in Puglia.”

Food Job: As Easy as Apple Pie

If there was a parliament of pastry, Apple Pie would be the prime minister and Johnny Appleseed its roving ambassador.

They say nothing is as American as apple pie but Isaac Newton, knowing the gravity of making such a claim, could have upset the apple cart by pointing out humble pies appear throughout the world.

Some think the best apple pie is topped with ice cream.  Others insist an apple pie order isn’t complete without a slice of cheddar cheese. Modern folk mindlessly munch mini-pies nuked from the microwave; others dream of apple pie and visualize Norman Rockwell’s Mom in her red checkered apron with the straps criss-crossing like a pastry lattice across her back.  They say nothing is as loving as a pie, golden, delicious and hot from the oven baked for the apple of her eye.

Adam and Eve, George Washington, Norman Rockwell, McDonald’s and Steve Jobs had vastly different views of apples and apps.

Clearly apple pie is a state of mind.

For the fortunate an apple pie is a pie of cake.

Food Job: Bake your own unique apple pies and become a valued supplier for restaurants, country clubs, food trucks and wherever great food is offered.

Food Writer Job:  Become the world’s greatest expert on the topic of apples. Here are a few subjects to cover:

Apple pie origins

Adam’s apple (was it worth the bite in the Garden of Eden? Were Adam and Eve the only couple who were truly made for each other?)

Apple computer

An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

Apple brandy

Apple cider

Apple in mouth of a pig (why?)

Apple martini

Apple nutrition

Apple picking

Apples that don’t fall far from the tree

Apple use in aromatherapy

Applebee’s (restaurant review)

Apples dippers at McDonald’s (opinion of)

Apples in art

Apples in history

Apples in literature

Apples in religion

Bobbing for apples

Candy apple

Curious customs associated with apples

Dried apple dolls

Golden apple of Hesperides

Johnny Appleseed

Lifecycle of an apple from seed to harvest

Newton’s apple

Snow White and the poisoned apple

The Big apple (origin of name)

Varieties of apples

Where apples grow

Which variety to choose for baking an apple pie

You get the idea?  It is a form of word association. You can do this with virtually any single food subject. Begin a blog.

Quote: The first written mention of a fruit pie:
“Thy breath is like the steame of apple-pyes.”

Robert Greene (1590) ‘Arcadia’


Brand Manager

Marcus Samuelsson, age 41, owns 6 restaurants, wrote 2 cookbooks and a memoir, appears (very) frequently on the TV, featured with full pages in the New York Times on Sunday…featured in Food Arts…employs 700 people…unintentionally leaves most of us in the dust?

When we think of Ben & Jerry we think of caring philanthropists who produce super ice cream. We think of Starbucks as earth-friendly folk who generously provide health benefits for their employees and make high priced coffee that is sold in a paper cup.

These images are creations of marketing experts who have specialized knowledge within specific fields.

A culinary brand manager understands the demographic profile of food television viewers, analyzes food trends, researches packaging innovations and coordinates the strategies of advertisers especially when it comes to “personalities” of the Anthony Bourdain genre.

Anthony Bourdain said, ” “Few things are more beautiful to me than a bunch of thuggish, heavily tattooed line cooks moving around each other like ballerinas on a busy Saturday night. Seeing two guys who’d just as soon cut each other’s throats in their off hours moving in unison with grace and ease can be as uplifting as any chemical stimulant or organized religion.” (His current net worth is estimated to be $6 million.)

How to Become a Brand Manager | › Job Search & Employment

Find a Job

Graduation daze are here and many are worried.

An alternative to applying for a job is to create one for  yourself.

Use the social media to announce your availability and place an ad in a trade magazine or Personal Column of a local publication.

For example: I am a speech writer. My former clients include three senators and several CEOs. I can help you….

I am a personal chef specializing in preparing gluten-free dinners and small tempting meals for home bound elderly.

I am a public relations and marketing specialist. I can increase your sales! I only charge a fee when I achieve the result you specify.

I’ll make a sensational cake for you. I can reproduce your house in genoise.

I am a specialist in designing mini kitchens in tiny apartments.

I’ll write your cover letter and help you with your resume.

Create a web site to showcase your work and get a dedicated phone number for your new business.