SOURCE: Grain Foods Foundation

May 09, 2011 05:00 ET

One Slice at a Time: Project Raises Hunger Awareness From Grain Foods Foundation

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - May 9, 2011) - (Family Features) Nearly 17 million children in the United States struggle with hunger. That means almost one in four children has limited or uncertain access to nutritious foods, such as whole and enriched grains, that they need in order to thrive.

To raise awareness for the growing hunger problem in this country, the Grain Foods Foundation has created the Bread Art Project. The project serves as a fundraising mechanism for Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America.

This year, the Grain Foods Foundation will donate $50,000 to Share our Strength, plus $1 for every piece of bread art created and approved at between April 1 and June 30, 2011 (maximum total donation of $100,000).

To understand the impact of childhood hunger, consider this -- children who struggle with hunger are sick more often, recover more slowly, and are more likely to be hospitalized. They are more likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds, ear infections and fatigue. Lastly, children who face hunger are more susceptible to obesity and its harmful health consequences as children and as adults.

While engaging consumers in an effort to help nourish those in need, the project serves as an interactive way to educate consumers about the health benefits of grain foods. Bread and grains provide essential daily vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Enriched grains -- including white bread, pasta, crackers, tortillas, bagels and breakfast cereals -- are the primary sources of folic acid in Americans' diets and also account for a major source of iron. Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, various vitamins and minerals, and are naturally low in fat.

To help launch the 2011 Bread Art Project, Teri Hatcher, star of the popular TV series "Desperate Housewives," has teamed up with the Grain Foods Foundation. This recipe, courtesy of Hatcher, combines juicy grilled chicken and crisp broccoli to spice up pasta for a family-friendly dish any night of the week.

Not-So-Desperate Housewife Chicken Veggie Pasta
Serves 4
1pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2pound white mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
2cloves garlic, chopped
1/4cup olive oil, divided
1/2pound dried penne pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Grill chicken breasts until fully cooked. Let the cooked chicken rest for 10 minutes and then cut into bite-sized pieces. In the meantime, add one inch of water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes so it is tender but not fully cooked. Drain the broccoli and set aside.

While broccoli is cooking, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauté pan and warm over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they start to brown, approximately seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately two minutes. Add the cooked chicken and broccoli to pan, and allow entire mixture to cook an additional five minutes.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. In large bowl, toss cooked pasta with chicken vegetable mixture. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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