Teri Hatcher On Ending Childhood Hunger
And that's perfectly fine with the actress perhaps best known for playing Susan Mayer on "Desperate Housewives" and Lois Lane on "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."
Of course, many also will recall her appearance as Jerry's curvaceous girlfriend on "Seinfeld," when she delivered the classic line: "They're real ... and they're spectacular."
These days, however, the busy actress and mother is striving to end childhood hunger. Hatcher, 46, has lent her image and support to the Bread Art Project, an effort by the nonprofit Grains Food Foundation to benefit Share Our Strength and raise money and awareness about childhood hunger issues.
And it all comes back to toast.
The campaign's website features various images appearing on digital toast, with a number of the toasty images featuring Hatcher -- there is even an homage to her line from "Seinfeld."
Anyone can put an image on virtual toast via the site at no cost, and, when they do, campaign organizers kick in a dollar to fight childhood hunger. But they had better do it quickly. The main part of the campaign ends this week.
Coincidentally, " Burnt Toast and Other Philosophies of Life" is the name of the book Hatcher wrote in 2006.
Hatcher talked with ParentDish about the Bread Art Project and childhood hunger.
ParentDish: How did you find out about the project and what inspired you to get involved?
Teri Hatcher: The Grand Foods Foundation actually invited me to be a part of the campaign -- and I am glad they did!
The Grain Foods Foundation, Share Our Strength and I believe that hungry families need nutritious food -- not just enough food. I agreed to be a part of the Bread Art Project to help share this message. We need to educate families how to prepare healthy meals on limited budgets -- and grain-based foods are affordable and nutritious pantry staples.
Whole and enriched grains have always been an important part of my diet. I admit it: I love bread! Which is another reason why I was initially drawn to this project.
PD: Is there any connection between your involvement in the project and the message of your book, "Burnt Toast"?
TH: That was pure coincidence. Interestingly enough, the theme that I aimed to convey in my book was that we deserve good things. We deserve to take time for ourselves and treat ourselves well. And that certainly includes making time to eat well. And grains are the foundation to any healthy diet.
PD: Did you create your toast art images yourself?
TH: Yes! And I must warn you, it's addicting.
I uploaded pictures of myself, my pets and some of my favorite photos. Then I shaded each image -- or "toasted" it. I love arts and crafts, so I took it a step further and also created a flipbook. My flipbook was 40 frames of me disco dancing. Press play, and it comes to life.
PD: What do people need to know -- or perhaps have forgotten -- about childhood hunger?
TH: Nearly 17 million American children -- that's almost one in four -- struggle with hunger. That's simply unacceptable. The Bread Art Project is an easy way to help.
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.
PD: How can people help with the project?
TH: Participation is free and easy. All you need to do is visit www.BreadArtProject.com and follow the instructions to make bread art. Just go and be creative. For every piece of bread art that is approved, the Grain Foods Foundation will donate $1 to Share Our Strength this week.
Also, to help put a face on the nation's hunger issue, the Grain Foods Foundation has created the Face Hunger application, which allows Facebook users to apply the one-in-four-child-hungry statistic to their friends. To find out what it would look like if one in four of your friends went hungry, visit facebook.com/gowiththegrain.
PD: Have you been able to meet any of children helped by Share Our Strength and the Bread Art Project?
TH: Yes, as a matter of fact, the Grain Foods Foundation and I kicked off the Bread Art Project in Los Angeles at the Harriette Evans Shields Childcare Center, an affiliate of the Center for Community and Family Services in Los Angeles.
The center serves pre-kindergarten aged children and offers a comprehensive educational program, along with nutritious meals, for all students.
At the event, (were) a number of children who are students at the center. We made sandwiches together. They loved the hands-on involvement -- and, of course, eating the sandwiches for lunch!
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.