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Vail Seasonal: Cupcakes for a cause

Sue Barham
Simply Seasonal
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Seasonal: Avondale's pastry chef Bill Fitzgerald puts the finishing touch on Share Our Strength cupcakes
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VAIL, Colorado – Poverty is complex; feeding a child is not. This is the mantra of Share Our Strength, our nation’s powerful crusader in the war on childhood hunger.

Share Our Strength began in the basement of a row house on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., in 1984, in the wake of the Ethiopian famine. Bill and Debbie Shore started the organization with the belief that everyone has a strength to share in the global fight against hunger and poverty, and that in these shared strengths lie sustainable solutions.

In 2004, Share Our Strength celebrated its 20th anniversary by launching its national strategy to end childhood hunger in America. The organization focuses on long-term solutions that support access to nutritious food and healthy food choices, and bridges the gaps between existing effective programs and families who need them.



To date, the organization has raised over $265 million dollars that has been used for many programs reaching out to those in need.

Some staggering facts about childhood hunger in America:



• 38 million Americans live below the income poverty line of $21,200 for a family of four.

• $407 is the average weekly income of a family living at the poverty line.

• Households with children are nearly twice as likely to use food banks as those without children.



• The weak economy has put millions of previously secure American families at risk.

• Nearly half (49.2%) of American children will receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits at some point in their life.

• Effective federal nutrition programs that provide nutritious food to families in need are still underutilized.

All of us have at one time or another experienced hunger. We’ve all craved a midnight snack, wanted something salty or needed some chocolate. But there’s a big difference between trying to satisfy a craving and wondering where your next meal will come from.

In 2003, Share Our Strength launched The Great American Bake Sale, encouraging individuals, teams, businesses, and associations of all kinds to hold a benefit event. Since its inception, more than 1.7 million people have participated in Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale, raising $6 million to work towards making sure no child in America grows up hungry.

For the second consecutive year, Larkspur Market in Vail and Market Avondale in Avon are joining The Great American Bake Sale throughout the month of March. Each market is offering cupcakes for $2 and donating $1 per cupcake sold to the cause. Purchase of a dozen cupcakes includes one free – ‘The Baker’s Dozen Special’. “It’s amazing how far a donation will stretch,” said Allana Smith, Director of Kitchen Operations for both establishments.

• $25 feeds one child three healthy meals every day for a month.

• $50 connects one child with healthy meals throughout the summer.

• $100 provides 25 children facing hunger with backpacks full of healthy food to feed them and their families over the weekend.

• $200 buys grocery bags of healthy foods for 50 families in need.

• $500 reaches twelve low-income families with a life-changing, six-week nutritious cooking and food budgeting course.

The reality is that almost 17 million children in America – that’s one in four – are at risk of hunger. That’s 5.5 percent more than a year ago. And it’s likely that these children will endure lifelong consequences as a result of having limited access to nutritious foods, including susceptibility to illness and the ability to think and learn.

You can make a difference, simply by enjoying a cupcake. Or treat your office or your child’s class by bringing in the Baker’s Dozen Special. Call to order – Larkspur Market (970) 754-8055, Market Avondale (970) 790-6600 (24-hour notice appreciated). For more information about Share Our Strength, visit http://www.strength.org.

3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 Tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

9 ounces butter

2 1/2 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 yolks

2 cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, yolks, buttermilk and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the two flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add dry mixture to other, mixing till smooth. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Yield 4 dozen.

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 ounces cream cheese

6 ounces butter, softened

Mix together powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. In another bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, beating until smooth.

Sue Barham is the marketing director for Larkspur Restaurant and Restaurant Avondale. Larkspur, (larkspurvail.com) at the base of Vail Mountain, has been serving American Classics with a fresh interpretation since 1999. Avondale, (avondalerestaurant.com) opened in September 2008 in the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa and features a West Coast inspired, market driven menu.

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