Sunday, January 30, 2011

How Cool Is That? Purple Asparagus on Rachel Ray's Yum-O


Meet Beckham, the newest addition to our family. At 9 weeks, he’s just a tiny fur ball. He joined our family yesterday afternoon and, as of now, he seems to be a delightful puppy, playful, yet mellow. He’s a little nibbly, but with vigilance, I hope that it won’t cause any lasting damage to my carpets. Mid afternoon today, I figured that the highlight of my weekend was the fact that the little beast slept through the night. Then I opened my email.

I’d met Andrew Kaplan (“Kappy”), the director of Rachel Ray’s Yum-O foundation at the Chefs in the Classroom day on which Purple Asparagus worked with Healthy Schools Campaign. After this, I’d checked out the Yum-O site where I learned about the Featured Non-Profit section. What a great idea, I thought, to highlight grassroots organizations doing work in the communities. I made a mental note of it and told myself that we should submit a profile for Purple Asparagus.

The problem with emerging non-profits, as I have painfully learned, that you get so busy doing the work, that you don’t have a chance to promote it. While that may not sound like such a big problem, it is for funding purposes. If people don’t know what you’re up to, the money needed to support your efforts doesn’t come in.

I’m guilty of this – since 2009, we’ve gone from providing regular programming in 3 schools to 15. Fifteen! Without staff. And this doesn’t take into account our programs with the City, CLOCC (Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children), or at community centers, farmers’ markets, and other venues. Fortunately, I love it and we’re really blessed to have a terrific team of volunteers, some of whom have begun to take the lead on our programs. Nevertheless, as the “Head Spear,” most of the educating is still done by me. So, while the mental note did make it into an actual item on the to-do list, I hadn’t gotten to putting together that profile.

Thus, the email I got from Kappy was a very pleasant surprise. We are the friggin’ featured non-profit on Rachel Ray’s Yum-O! Holy EVOO, we got featured. I cannot express how gratifying this news was to me. Put a little extra skip in my step, which I certainly need to keep up with the little monster pictured above.


  1. Beckham thinks this (and everything else) is yum-o!

  2. Congrats Melissa! Well deserved feature! With the arrival of Beckham, and the news from Rachel Ray's Yum-O, I guess I won't have to ask how your weekend was! :)


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