Food News

Thanksgiving 2017: How to Host Friendsgiving to Benefit No Kid Hungry

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and good food. However, some families in our community have nothing. This season, the No Kid Hungry's Friendsgiving campaign allows you to transform your usual day of gluttony into a one filled with giving.

The organization provides cooking lessons to low-income families, supports school breakfast programs, and provides summer lunches for vulnerable children.

By registering your event and raising funds, you can provide food for thousands of people in need. Each dollar donated feeds about ten children; $50 feeds 500.

Asking your guests for a small donation is an excellent and fun way to give back. You can request that Friendsgiving guests donate a fixed amount, or get creative by collecting donations in exchange for boxed leftovers or setting up a cash bar whose proceeds go toward No Kid Hungry.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Food. Friendsgiving is typically potluck-style, allowing everyone to share in the financial obligation. As a host, however, you should provide the main course of turkey, ham, or a vegan alternative. To cut down on the cooking time, bake two smaller birds. Designate specific dishes or courses so there aren't 25 pounds of mashed potatoes or ten apple pies left over. Feel free to experiment with your menu, stray from the classics, and create a unique theme. Exploring different Thanksgiving traditions can add an exciting element to your party.

Ambiance. Creating a Pinterest-worthy atmosphere can often be daunting and expensive, but thrift stores and dollar stores are your best friends for decorations. Lit candles and bunches of eucalyptus or baby's breath are simple elements that tie a festive look together without breaking the bank. A great playlist always helps too. Start the party with some indie chillwave like Washed Out and work your way to '90s hip-hop once the wine has kicked in. Spotify and Pandora are great resources for free or cheap music streaming.

Social Media. Did it even happen if it wasn't on Instagram? Create fun hashtags to help your guests share their Friendsgiving experience with you and the world. Although it takes some practice, think of something that personifies your guests. Two examples are #friendsgivingforever or #30pietillwedie. Adding a customized Snapchat filter is an inexpensive yet impressive addition to your celebration. Debaucherous snaps are the true markings of a successful shindig.

To register your Friendsgiving, visit
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Attorney by day, foodie by night, Elena Vivas is a regular food and beverage contributor for Miami New Times. She was also an expert columnist for Foodable TV and a food editor for
Contact: Elena Vivas