Rising to the cause

Local teens to hold bake sale to fight childhood hunger in the U.S.

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As Alicia Thompson and Ashleigh McDonald worked together in the kitchen to prepare some zucchini bread, they had a few questions.

"Is the zucchini supposed to be this watery?" Thompson, who is going to be a junior this yea, asked, with a slight crinkle in her nose.

"I think it will be fine," McDonald, who is going to be a sophomore this year, said. "It was just thawed it out."

Their cooperation in the kitchen was in preparation for a bake sale they are organizing July 3 and 4. The proceeds will go to help children who might not even have the opportunity to have three meals a day, let alone mix zucchini into a bread mix in their kitchens.

The idea of a bake sale to help ease hunger is not their own. Last week, Thompson's mother handed her an issue of Parade Magazine, a magazine inserted in many Sunday newspapers across the country, opened to an article regarding the Great American Bake Sale.

"She handed it to me and said it was something I could do," Thompson said. "I read it and the next day at the pool I told Ashleigh about it."

Both girls work as lifeguards and after telling McDonald about the bake sale, Thompson had recruited another baker.

The article in the magazine was about hunger in America. According to Parade, during the summer months and after school there is a lack of food for children when school food programs aren't available. Parade, in cooperation with Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger organization, started the GABS to, as stated in the magazine's press release, "support the fight to end childhood hunger in America."

"There is a big focus on other countries right now," McDonald said. "But when we read the article, it made it clear there are children in need here."

According to Parade's numbers, 13 million children in the United States are hungry or at risk of hunger. The money raised from the bake sale will go to Share Our Strength, which makes grants to non-profit organizations fighting childhood hunger in the U.S.

"I saw it as a way to get people in Craig involved," Thompson said. "It also was something else to do in the summer."

In addition, Thompson will be the vice president of the Key Club next year at Moffat County High School. She saw it as an opportunity to earn hours for next year in the community service club. She and McDonald called Cindy Morris, the adult sponsor of the club, who OK'd the service project. The girls then called as many club members as they could for help.

"We've got a lot of the members cooking things for us," she said. "I'm not sure how many until they bring stuff, but a lot of them said they would."

The girls said their goal for the bake sale, which will be held at City Market from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, was to raise $300 and sell most of their food -- a goal they think is obtainable with the timing of the bake sale.

"There are a lot of picnics and family outings around the Fourth," Thompson said. "So we think it will be a good chance to sell things."

As far as pricing for the items, they hadn't come to a specific conclusion yet.

"We haven't really thought of it yet," Thompson said. "We are outside of City Market so we have a place to look at prices."

Pricing is the least of their worries.

"The hardest part may be baking all the food and not eating some of it," McDonald said.

A bit of irony in the fund-raiser is that the extra food is perishable and anything left over, will be wasted -- or maybe not.

"After the sale, if I see a child on the street of Craig I'll give them my banana bread," Thompson said with a smile suggesting she was kidding. "I don't know, I guess we hope we sell everything."

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