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Sweet Potatoes Are Saving Lives – Will You Help?

Food is the one thing that always unites us – be it a celebration, a mourning, or charitable cause. Today, One.org is using food to unite the blogging community to help a cause we should all be hungry to fight – malnutrition. They’ve banded 25 food bloggers to share the sweet potato love today, and in doing so, help raise awareness of chronic malnutrition, which they say is, “a hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world.”

It’s something that mothers around the globe face for their children. We tend to immediately think of poor, underdeveloped countries – those scenes are stark and real and very much deserving of our efforts. It’s very much a domestic issue, too, but one we think isn’t possible right here in our own neighborhoods.

According to CharitySub.org, which made hunger its charitable focus last winter, one in seven American homes is considered food insecure, with one in four children living in food insecure homes.

One.org thinks we can reverse this trend with one little super food - the sweet potato. “We’re on a mission to make the sweet potato famous. Why? Because it packs a huge vitamin A punch, and it’s saving lives in Africa today.”
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Wichita Runners Raise $2,000 for Hurricane Sandy Relief at a Run4NYC 5K

“I’ve think we’ve got something really special here in Wichita, Kevin.”

“I agree, Lacy. I think we really do.”

This was the opening conversation I had with GoRun Wichita, a running store, owner Kevin Swinicki as we took off for more miles this past Saturday morning. We had just completed a raffle and a fun run with about 250 people. The totals determined that the running community of Wichita had raised $2,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief. All of this took place with just three days notice, a push through social media, and a cause worth of running for.

Early last week DietsInReview.com’s managing editor, Brandi Koskie, asked me if I thought we could get runners to show up and participate in DailyMile’s #Run4NYC virtual race fundraiser. Knowing the good hearts that dwell in so many people I’ve shared the road with, I told Brandi that I thought many would show up to support such a worthy cause. With that belief, Brandi hit the ground running to secure funds. Within a day, she had been allotted $500 to donate to the effort, which would go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Boldly we agreed that we’d attempt to get 200 people, that way DietsInReview could contribute $2.50 per person who showed to run with us. This news officially hit the public on Wednesday, giving runners three days notice for the event.
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DietsInReview is Sponsoring a Run4NYC 5K in Wichita to Support Sandy Relief Efforts

Runners need only show up for Saturday morning’s 5K in Wichita and DietsInReview will make a $2.50 donation on their behalf!

We may be one of the largest health sites online with a presence across the country, but we call two places home – Wichita, Kansas and Brooklyn, New York. Last week, one of our homes, and many members of the DIR friends and family circle, were affected by the Sandy Hurricane, not to mention so many of our loyal followers. This Saturday, our editorial team, which is based in Wichita, will sponsor the first 200 runners at a special 5K event by donating $2.50 per runner to Run4NYC (up to $500). Run4NYC is raising money through virtual races across the country to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

“DietsInReview has called Wichita home and run our editorial team from here since we started in 2007,” said managing editor Brandi Koskie. “However, our site founder, developer, and dietitian live in Brooklyn, NY, so Sandy hit way too close to home for our tight knit DIR family last week. It’s in our nature to give back whenever we can, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to tie our two communities together.”

The fun run will take place in partnership with GoRun Wichita on Saturday, November 10 at 7:00am at Sedgwick County Park. GoRun Wichita will lead us through a 3.1 mile loop. We expect to see runners of all experience levels, including some of GoRun’s recent Start2Finish training team who completed the Prairie Fire full and half marathon.
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New York City Marathoners Run Anyway in the Race to Recover

Superstorm Sandy has been top news since she started brewing in the Atlantic several weeks ago. However, once she made landfall last weekend, this storm has created news stories we’ll never forget. With the communities of New York and New Jersey taking the hardest hits, the most densely populated areas of our nation found themselves in despair. All of this coincided with one of the nation’s biggest events preparing to take place in New York City.

The New York City Marathon was scheduled for Sunday, November 4, 2012. Nearly 50,000 runners and their families were still set to descend on the city as the infamous race had not yet been cancelled and was still scheduled to run the 26.2 miles through all five of the New York burroughs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had announced that the race would go on and essentially asked runners to come to New York to boost morale, generate tremendous revenue, and simply give the brokenhearted city something to cheer about. With uncertainty, many of those thousands of runners boarded their flights and made their way to NYC to run the race they had trained so long and so hard for.

Despite much of the city still being without power the expo doors opened on Friday. Elite runners began their press interviews, runners from around the world filed in to collect their bib numbers and buy their 2012 marathon apparel. All the while frustration was mounting in the city. Runners were being called selfish, as Melissa Dunn expressed in a tweet to DietsInReview.

The race was being accused of robbing resources from those in need; simply stated, it was getting heated. Who knows what caused the announcement, but late Friday afternoon Mayor Bloomberg called off the race. A call that lead to a fury of emotions for all sides of the debate, but has since shown the runners doing what Bloomberg wanted all along – morale boosting and mending of broken hearts.

Runners were chastised for admitting their disappointment with the timing of Bloomberg’s announcement. I think all runners agree it was the right call, they simply couldn’t believe it came so late, when many of them were already there, spent the money, clogged up the airports, used up taxis’ gas in the midst of a fuel shortage, and even occupied hotel rooms that could be used for those who live in the city and had lost everything. However, on Friday, emotions were too high and no one could see the runners as innocent bystanders in a hectic tragedy.
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Preparing Our Vegetable Garden Build at Carpenter Place

This is no small undertaking we’ve gotten ourselves in to. When we were selected by Kalso Earth Shoes to receive a $1000 grant so that we could plant vegetables gardens at Carpenter Place on April 22, we thought we’d buy some seeds and dirt and soon serve our friends fresh vegetables. Like anything else, there’s a bit of work involved between now and then.

We’re working closely with Jennifer White, a Carpenter Place house parent, to pull off this exciting Earth Day project.

Last week, I sent out a survey to the residents of Carpenter Place to make sure we planted exactly the fruits and vegetables they would want to eat. No sense planting asparagus if no one is going to eat it, right? We’ll probably plant some new things for them, in hopes that they’ll try them!

Tomatoes were a unanimous choice for fruit, followed by melon and strawberries. The herbs were pretty widely accepted, with basil and cilantro being the most popular. We gave a very generous list of vegetables to choose from with about a dozen receiving unanimous selection, including beans, cucumbers, greens, okra, onions, peas, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, potatoes, and peppers like serrano and jalapeños.

We’re still confirming what can actually be planted in the Kansas soil, but feel pretty safe with this list.
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