As the United States begins its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, its damaging impact on the nation’s economy and food systems has left cities like Baltimore grappling with an overwhelming surge in child hunger. Feeding America estimates that 42 million people, including 13 million children, may still experience food insecurity in 2021.
To help combat the hunger crisis in Baltimore, Weekend Backpacks, a nonprofit that provides weekend meals for vulnerable children, launched its Chef’s Event Reimagined series in March. This four-part virtual food series has helped the organization raise much-needed funds for meal requests, which have jumped from 300,000 in 2019 to 630,000 in 2020.
Part three of the series, “BBQ and Brew,” is set for Sunday, June 27, from 3 to 4 p.m. and will be presented in collaboration with Linwoods, a fine dining restaurant in Owings Mills. Executive Chef Tony Jerbi will lead participants through a virtual demonstration on marinating meat, using rubs and preparing grilled Peruvian chicken and Mexican street corn salad. As an added bonus, local beverage distributor Bond Distributing will provide the best beer to complement each dish.
“It’s exciting to be a part of such a fun and imaginative series that blends my love of culinary arts with giving back to kids right here in our community,” Jerbi said in a recent press release. “There are many families who are going through some really tough times. I’m happy to have the opportunity to play a role in easing some of the pressure they face.”
Those who want to participate must make a minimum donation of $45, which will include a BBQ and Brew kit complete with Linwoods’ wet and dry rubs, spices, grill accessories, recipes and more. Kits can be picked up on Saturday, June 26, from 10 to 11 a.m. at 1505 Bedford Ave. (behind Walgreens, at the corner of Reisterstown and Old Court roads) in Pikesville.
Proceeds from participation fees will go toward the Weekend Backpacks’ bags, which will provide enough essential food items to feed three children up to six meals.
The food series’ last event, “Artisanal Breads,” will run in September. Attendees can sign up for both BBQ and Brew and Artisanal Breads on the Weekend Backpacks website.
Fore more information on Weekend Backpacks, read our original article on the Chef’s Event Reimagined series here.