Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cooking Up A Storm Branches Out

The introductory culinary program of The Jonathan Thompson Performing Arts School, Cooking Up A Storm, is designed to introduce students to basic culinary skills and to enhance their interest in education and career opportunities in the culinary or foodservice industries.

Class instruction, led by Chef Carl G. Conway with assistance from graduates of the Second Helpings Culinary Job Training Program, provides for interactive participation and is designed to teach basic culinary skills and nutrition, empower participants to make better and healthier food choices, explore educational and career opportunities in foodservice, and aid character development in young participants, all while having a lot of fun.

Chef Conway and company will offer a twelve week culinary experience for teens ages 14-19 starting Thursday, June 12th, 2008. Sessions will be held every Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the C.A.F.E. Center, located at 8902 East 38th Street.

See our registration page to sign up, or (317) 890-3288, extension 19 for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kroger and Second Helpings Partner to Feed the Hungry

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – At a Sunday evening June 8th dinner in honor of Second Helpings' 10th anniversary, Kroger Central Division Public Affairs Manager John Elliott announced a major perishable food partnership between Kroger and Second Helpings as part of Kroger’s national Perishable Donation Partnership (PDP).

"For far too long food banks, food rescue organizations and local food pantries have operated with the food that people choose to donate, rather than being able to provide enough healthy, nutritious meals that include meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and other perishable foods," said Bob Moeder, president of Kroger Central Division. "Just because a family is temporarily unable to purchase their meals in retail food stores, that should not mean they have to accept a lower quality standard or inadequate nutritional value."

Second Helpings and Gleaner's Food Bank will share access to a significant quantity of healthy, nutritious perishable food donations from nearly 50 Central Indiana Kroger stores. Second Helpings and Gleaners have just completed a successful pilot of the program for Kroger's Central Division, working with four stores each. Prior to the pilot, both organizations had to undergo thorough evaluations, including food safety evaluation and other certifications.

Kroger's cash contribution on June 8th includes $5,000 in support of Second Helpings' highly respected chef training academy, as well as $5,000 that is unrestricted. Kroger made a contribution of $15,000 earlier this year to underwrite costs associated with a special insert in "Indianapolis Woman" magazine promoting the mission and programs of Second Helpings.

The partnership with Second Helpings' Culinary Job Training Program, headed by Chef Carl Conway, will include Kroger's hiring graduates of the program, supporting curriculum and content of the training program, access to Kroger stores during training sessions and other shared expertise in what is projected to be a mutually-beneficial exchange of talent and ideas.

Kroger enthusiastically supports helping organizations that provide food to those in need. The donations of nutritious perishable food will be especially important to children for healthy growth and development.

According to Mr. Moeder, "Kroger does not do this alone. We rely heavily on partners in every community to feed the hungry. I personally visited Second Helpings and share my colleagues' great enthusiasm for the quality and effectiveness of their organization. We were so impressed that we sought special approval from our corporate headquarters in Cincinnati to allow Second Helpings to be the first food rescue organization in the nation to participate in the PDP. I am especially pleased that our division’s leading expert on food safety, Melissa Miller, has agreed to lead this PDP for us. Kroger is very committed to making this perishable food program just as successful as the many other programs comprising our 125 year history of feeding the hungry in our local communities."

Cindy Hubert, CEO of Second Helpings added, "Second Helpings is honored to have been chosen to be part of Kroger's perishable food partnership and receive the wonderful financial support from Kroger. The confidence Bob Moeder and Kroger's leadership team have shown to Second Helpings to allow us to be the first food rescue organization certified within the nation is priceless. We are looking forward to a long and rewarding alliance with Kroger to feed the hungry within our community."

Background:Nationally, 40% of the $160.5 million Kroger donates in local communities goes to hunger relief. These donations are primarily dry grocery products and can goods. "This is an exciting opportunity to bring even more food and hope to hungry people," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs and a member of the national board of directors of America’s Second Harvest. "This initiative not only increases the amount of fresh food Kroger donates, it will help improve the diets of individuals and families who depend on hunger relief programs by giving food banks access to a variety of nutritious meats, fruits and vegetables."

Kroger has launched the PDP as a company-wide project to increase the number of stores that donate safe, perishable food to America's Second Harvest food banks across the country. As part of the PDP program, Kroger has dedicated a senior staff person in the corporate headquarters, Kathleen Wright, as Director of the Company’s PDP. Under Wright’s leadership, Kroger’s PDP will expand to include not only the current 30 million pounds per year of non-perishable food donations, but an additional 50 million pounds of nutritious, fresh food to food banks across the country. In terms of meals, this represents an increase from 22 to 59 million meals annually. The safe handling of perishable foods will make food bank and food pantry operations more complex, so Kroger’s efforts will include expertise and resources to prepare local food banks for the safe and efficient handling of perishable foods.

Kroger's Central Division, based in Indianapolis, supported six food banks in Indiana and two in Illinois during 2007 with more than $2 million in cash contributions, donated transportation, event support and donated food. Kroger actively engages its customers and the communities in which its employees live and work in its hunger relief efforts by supporting food drives throughout the year. Kroger is a major sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America's "Scouting for Food" program and leads a "Share Your Feast” food drive during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays each year. Kroger’s financial contributions are reinforced by substantial non-cash support such as donated equipment; professional expertise and considerable volunteer hours.

The Kroger Central Division has 154 food stores, 129 pharmacies and 51 fuel centers operating under five banners; Kroger, Scott's, Owen’s, Hilander and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to five stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $7 million annually to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity. At Kroger we value: honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.

Source: The Kroger Company- Central Division

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Trouble With Harry

A first-grade teacher, Ms. Brooks, was having trouble with one of her students.

The teacher asked, 'Harry, what's your problem?'

Harry answered, 'I'm too smart for the 1st grade. My sister is in the 3rd grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in the 3rd grade, too!'

Ms. Brooks had had enough. She took Harry to the principal's office. While Harry waited in the outer officer, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was. The principal told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test. If he failed to answer any of his questions, he was to go back to the 1st grade and behave. She agreed.

Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.

Principal: 'What is 3 x 3?'

Harry: '9.'

Principal: 'What is 6 x 6?'

Harry: '36.'

And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know.

The principal looks at Ms. Brooks and tells her, 'I think Harry can go to the 3rd grade.'

Ms. Brooks says to the principal, 'Let me ask him some questions.' The principal and Harry both agreed. Ms. Brooks asks,

'What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?'

Harry, after a moment: 'Legs.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What is in your pants that you have, but I do not have?'

The principal wondered why would she ask such a question!

Harry replied: 'Pockets.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What does a dog do that a man steps into?'

Harry: 'Pants.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What starts with a 'C', ends with a 'T', is hairy, oval, delicious, and contains thin, whitish liquid?'

Harry: 'Coconut.'

The principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.

Ms. Brooks: 'What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?'

The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer,

Harry replied, 'Bubble gum.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down, and a dog does on three legs?'

Harry: 'Shake hands.'

The principal was trembling.

Ms. Brooks: 'What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?'

Harry: 'Firetruck.'

The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, 'Put Harry in the fifth-grade, I got the last seven questions wrong.'

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sleeping On The Job - A Good Thing?

(LifeWire) -- At Jason Keith's last job, he discovered a colleague sound asleep at work -- head back, mouth open, snoring loudly -- while his co-workers laughed and snapped photos with their cell phone cameras.

"At first I thought he was faking it, but he was completely passed out," says Keith, 31, who works for a digital printing company outside Boston, Massachusetts. "He left the company about a month after that episode."

Caryn Melton, 43, has nodded off during meetings, at her desk and even during a corporate event. Melton, who works for a marketing firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, says she doesn't sleep well at night so she is often tired during the day.

"I love napping. I turn my chair around so my colleagues can't see me, but I have been caught before. Luckily, I haven't gotten in trouble. I just get teased by my colleagues," she says.

A Sleep-deprived Nation

Melton isn't alone in her struggle to stay awake on the job.

One-third of those surveyed for the National Sleep Foundation's annual "Sleep in America" poll had fallen asleep or become sleepy at work in the past month. The telephone survey questioned 1,000 adults in the continental United States and was conducted between September 25, 2007, and November 19, 2007.

The poll also found that Americans are working more and sleeping less. The average amount of sleep was six hours and 40 minutes a night. The average workday? Nine hours and 28 minutes. Calculate your weekly sleep hours and work hours »

"We are a sleep-deprived nation," says Rubin Naiman, a sleep specialist with a doctorate in clinical psychology and the director of sleep programs at Miraval, a health and wellness center in Tucson, Arizona. "We need at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night for optimal health."

Serenity Now

Recognizing that on-the-job sleepiness can affect the bottom line -- the Sleep Foundation puts the annual cost at $100 billion in lost productivity, health care costs and employee absences, among other factors -- companies are coming up with novel ways to boost employees' energy levels. Watch how sleep loss can harm the brain

"You would be surprised how many companies are providing nap rooms," says Sara Mednick, a sleep researcher with a doctorate in psychology from Harvard University and author of "Take a Nap! Change Your Life." "Although it is still somewhat of a stigma for some companies, it's a growing trend."

Maureen Lippe, founder of New York public relations agency Lippe Taylor, doesn't offer just one nap room for her tired employees. She has three. "We call them serenity rooms. I put one on each of the three floors," she says.
Outfitted with large sofas, blankets and comfortable chairs, the rooms are phone- and BlackBerry-free zones. "A lot of people nap in our serenity rooms, even me," Lippe says.

Other companies forgo beds and blankets and focus instead on creating an environment that emphasizes wellness and relaxation, reasoning that such a setting will keep employees refreshed and alert.

OPNET Technologies, a software company with headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, provides a "Zen computer garden" with plants, Internet access, couches, lounge chairs and other amenities where staff can enjoy downtime. The Fruit Guys, a San Francisco fruit-delivery company, doesn't have a nap room, but its employees enjoy unlimited fresh fruit.

Mednick says that although meditation, fresh fruit and other healthy benefits are great, naps should be part of the equation. She encourages companies to create a workplace napping policy.

"Napping doesn't have to happen just because you are not getting enough sleep," Mednick says. "There is often a dip in your body, physically, in the afternoon when your concentration is low, and a nap can increase alertness." Mednick suggests that companies provide dark, isolated rooms where people can stretch out horizontally.

A 'Band-Aid' solution?

While some people favor napping on the job, others are skeptical.
"I think that napping at work is a Band-Aid solution. It's trendy for companies, it makes it seem like your employer is concerned, but it doesn't really go to the heart of the real problem, which is that people are not getting enough sleep," says Dale Read, president of the Specialty Sleep Association, a nonprofit trade and industry group representing manufacturers and retailers of air, foam and other types of beds.

Although Read isn't against napping, he compares a 20-minute nap to "drinking a shot of sugar soda" -- it wakes you up in the moment but doesn't equal good nutrition in the long run.

Naiman disagrees. "There is ample data confirming that naps are refreshing, improve mood, enhance performance and lower blood pressure. Naps are an important part of the solution to our sleep-deprived culture."

Tips for a good night's sleep

One thing all the experts agree on? A good night's sleep is essential. They recommend the following:

• Institute a sleep routine: Go to bed at a specific time every night, take a warm shower, read a book or meditate to relax.

• Consume caffeine and alcohol in moderation. Naiman recommends avoiding caffeine after lunch. About alcohol, he says, "Less is better, earlier is better and with food is better."

• Don't go to bed full or famished. "A light snack a few minutes before bed consisting of natural or complex carbs such as a piece of fruit or some nut bread is ideal," Naiman says.

• Make sure your room is cool and dark.

• Find a comfortable mattress and pillow.

But if all else fails, follow Jason Keith's example. "When I take a nap at work, I do it in my car," he says.