Extra Helping: Two nationally-renowned Atlanta authors team up to raise funds for No Kid Hungry and more good food deeds

Chef Virginia Willis and author Mary Kay Andrews will present a cooking demonstration on Facebook Live for charity this Thursday.
Chef Virginia Willis and author Mary Kay Andrews will team up for a cooking demonstration to raise funds for No Kid Hungry. COURTESY OF VIRGINIA WILLIS

Chef Virginia Willis and author Mary Kay Andrews will team up for a cooking demonstration to raise funds for No Kid Hungry. COURTESY OF VIRGINIA WILLIS

On April 23, two best-selling and award-winning authors from the Atlanta area will go live on Facebook for a cooking demonstration to benefit No Kid Hungry. The live online fundraiser will feature The New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and chef Virginia Willis. Together, Andrews and Willis will broadcast a split-screen Facebook Live video directly from their own kitchens, where they will combine recipes to create a fluffy Southern chicken biscuit with hot honey mustard. Thursday’s live cooking demo will begin at 7 p.m.

During the broadcast, Andrews and Willis will interact with viewers and encourage everyone tuning in to donate to No Kid Hungry with a selection of impressive raffle prizes. Donors will be eligible for progressively higher tiers of prizes depending on the size of their donation. Those who give $25 could win a cookbook from either Andrews or Willis, $50 donors could win cookware sets from Lodge Cast Iron, and more donation levels earn higher value prizes up to a Big Green Egg MiniMax package valued at $699.

Willis, who has worked with No Kid Hungry for several years, said that her eyes were opened when schools started closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to her involvement with the organization, she was all too aware that many food-insecure children would have issues getting their necessary meals and nutrition. “I got on social media and recorded a little PSA video for No Kid Hungry, just encouraging people to donate,” said Willis. That’s when Andrews reached out to Willis to see if the two could partner to raise funds for the organization. Though the women have been in contact about working together before, they’ve never met in person.

Together, the two developed the idea for the cooking demonstration, secured sponsors and prizes and worked with No Kid Hungry to set up a donation page. After the live, online fundraising event on April 23, the donation page will remain open through April 26. The prize drawing and announcements will take place April 27. Willis said that for both her and Andrews, the event is a welcome opportunity to do some good from home.

“I thought, ‘What can I do?’” said Willis. “People shouldn’t feel overwhelmed about all the stuff they can’t do right now. Think about what you actually can do even if you can’t leave your house.”

More good food deeds:

The online spirits-focused magazine Punch will feature local bartender Cole Younger of Aziza on its Instagram Live channel for the publication's daily virtual happy hour, Tip Your Bartender. The broadcast will go live this Thursday at 5 p.m. Younger, who will demonstrate making his original Herb Your Enthusiasm cocktail, will earn a $1,000 for Aziza for his efforts, and viewers are encouraged to tip the bar team directly via Venmo. Bacardi, the event's sponsor, will match all tips with a contribution directly to the Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation. Check out Punch's Instagram feed (@punch_drink) for details and to tune in Thursday at 5 p.m. to catch Younger's cocktail recipe.

Homegrown Restaurant Concepts, the restaurant group that includes Doc Chey's Noodle House, Osteria 832 Pasta & Pizza and Dragon Bowl, have partnered with Meal Bridge and the Atlanta Community Food Bank to give back during the COVID-19 crisis. For every order placed for frontline hospital personnel through Meal Bridge, the restaurant group will donate funds to the ACFB that will allow the organization to feed nine hungry children, struggling seniors or hardworking family providers. Last week, Homegrown Restaurants delivered more than 300 hot meals to hospital workers, raising enough money feed more than 3,000 food-insecure Atlantans. Learn more at doccheys.com.

Alpharetta-based screen-printing company Booster Spirit Wear is raising money for local restaurants by helping them set up online merchandise stores at no cost to the restaurants. In partnering with local restaurants like Antico and Little Bear, Booster Spirit Wear handles the production of merchandise and sends the profits directly to the restaurants. Since launching the initiative about three weeks ago, the apparel company has generated hundreds of dollars in additional profits for its partner restaurants. Little Bear, the recently-opened tasting menu restaurant from chef Jarrett Stieber, has raised $3,500 in about 10 days with the program. In addition to Little Bear and Antico, the company has launched a store for East Bound and Grounds coffee and has an online shop in the works for Cantina Taqueria and others. Interested restaurants and other small businesses can request their own online stores by filling out a form on boosterspiritwear.com/small-business-stores.


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