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As a chef, working to help those struggling with hunger is deeply personal for Carla Hall. "I like to help people where I live and I cook. It’s all about food and helping people," the Bravo's Top Chef alum told BravoTV.com. "People need our support."
This year, support is particularly necessary. A recent press release reports that according to the USDA, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 60 percent increase in food needs across the country, leaving more than 54 million people susceptible to hunger. "I think that it has shattered all perceptions of what people thought hunger looked like," Carla said. "There were so many kids who didn't get their meals because they depended on the meals at school. People are losing their jobs. People are finding themselves in the situation where they’re needing the food banks more than ever."
To educate consumers on how to best support those experiencing food insecurity across the country, Carla is currently championing the Gateway to Giving campaign, inspired by the United Gateway Card from Chase and United Airlines. In addition to offering educational resources, the campaign will provide a donation of $700K to Feeding America and local member food banks in United’s seven hub markets including Chicago, Denver, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, and Washington D.C.
"That money will help provide nearly 7 million meals for local food banks across the country this holiday season and that gives a lot of relief to a lot of people," Carla said. "It is such a critical time."
For those looking to help this holiday season, Carla, who has worked with Feeding America for nearly 30 years, suggested, "You can give cash donations, of course, [and] you can direct your neighbors to your local food banks."
"Information is power. Even if you cant give money or buy food, you can give information," she added. "I think it’s all about doing this with dignity so that there is no shame involved and letting people know that there are a lot of people going through this. Just making it easy for people to be able to be directed to get the help that they need, that would be a big help."
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