Sparks of Magic

DennysNKH

Finish off September with FREE Pancakes for the Kids & a Great Cause!

FoodCamilleComment

The season of fall has arrived! I'm always excited for cooler weather and warm drinks like hot chocolate, especially with a nice fluffy stack of pancakes. My sister swears by Denny's amazing hot chocolate so I am going to be trying it myself soon. I consider myself a hot cocoa connoisseur, so we will see about that. :) I'm always up for a challenge!

Kids are back in school, holidays are coming soon (yes, I know it's only September, but I can't help it). And every year, Denny's teams up with non-profit organization, No Kid Hungry, a company that partners with local schools and communities in helping to end child hunger in America. To date, Denny's has donated $3.3 million to the organization, assisting children throughout America. This year was the sixth year of participation on behalf of the restaurant and its team. 

With the launch of the new fluffier pancakes this summer, and for the month of September, Denny's offers free pancakes to its littlest fans every day from 4 pm - 10 pm, with the purchase of an adult entree. This gives kids (who happen to be the toughest critics) the opportunity to see how Denny's new recipe stacks up.

Along with the promotion, For every $1 donated, Denny's and No Kid Hungry will provide 10 healthy meals to a child in need. Not only does the organization provide meals, but they give assistance with meal planning and budgeting for families.

Image © No Kid Hungry

Image © No Kid Hungry

Specifically in California, 1 in 4 children struggle with hunger... that's 25% of children. That is not okay. However, thanks to No Kid Hungry and 18 of its partners in CA, the goal is to satisfy and fill the tummies of our state's children. Our kids' school district offers free and reduced lunch for eligible families, and free breakfast for all children. Giving kids the nutrients and energy needed to function for the day is important and benefits them, but also their classmates and teachers. It's hard to focus when you're hungry (or like my kids - hangry), so I can't even imagine a child not having the basic needs of food fulfilled just to get through a school day.

Image © No Kid Hungry

Image © No Kid Hungry

If you're not able to visit your local Denny's in September to donate, you can visit dennysnokidhungry.com and if you'd like to be part of the yearlong movement, Denny's will be donating $1 for every hashtag #ShareYourSlam on Twitter and Instagram.

Get your kids involved, too! We participated last year as well, and my boys were eager to help make sure kids were not going hungry. You can read that here.

Image © No Kid Hungry

Image © No Kid Hungry

About No Kid Hungry®

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.

This conversation was sponsored by Denny's in an ongoing partnership to bring awareness to the needs of hungry children in America, as I am a member of Denny's Diner Ambassador Council. All thoughts and opinions are magical and always mine. :)

Dine and Donate - Denny's + No Kid Hungry {Giveaway}

FoodCamilleComment

I'm doing a giveaway with Denny's starting now until October 12, 2015!

In case you missed, it, I am partnering with Denny's and No Kid Hungry in an effort to end child hunger in America. You can catch up here and here.

The time is coming to a close, and in an effort to spread as much awareness as possible, we are doing a giveaway for the last week of our fundraising! It's easy to enter, just dine at Denny's and if you choose to donate $3, you are qualified to enter! When you donate, you also get coupons for future visits!

Did you already donate and visit Denny's during this campaign? Upload your pics and tag away! It counts!!

Head to your local Denny's and donate $3+ to No Kid Hungry, snap a pic of your visit, follow & then tag me on Instagram or Twitter (@camilledashana), use the hashtag #DennysMagic, and be entered to win* a $20 Denny's gift card & No Kid Hungry t-shirt! 


*Winner must be 18 years or older. There is no limit to entries; winner will be chosen at random through Random.org. This giveaway is sponsored by Denny's.

A Conversation About Charity, Over Ice Cream Shakes

Family, FoodCamilleComment

It's the last week of school before my kids will have their first quarter, two-week break. During this final week, my boys have 1/2 day sessions all week. In an effort to spice things up, and keep my sanity, I thought it would be a fun surprise to take them out on a little dessert date before we started homework. I met with both of their teachers in the morning for parent conferences, and I'm happy to report that they are both doing well. So, I whisked them away and we went on a Mommy/Sons date to Denny's! As brand ambassador, I make it a point to visit my local Denny's and chat with them about any promotions. In this case, I was prepared to discuss Denny's joint effort with No Kid Hungry. 


The minute we walked into Denny's they stood in amazement at all of the campaign fliers posted, signs on the table, and walls full of people's names. What simply started out as a fun dessert date with my boys turned into much more, as I shared with them the campaign I was working on with Denny's and No Kid Hungry.

They colored and ordered their Oreo blaster shakes. They also had fun testing out the Dreamworks COLOR app with the new HOME, Dinotrux, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman kids' menu. We talked a lot about food, and after all of their questions, I shared my part in the No Kids Hungry campaign. Sometimes I forget that inquiring minds want to know what I'm up to, and it was actually a proud moment for me because they understood the importance of the campaign.

For our family, we've been blessed to have huge support system with family members that lend a helping hand if we ever need it. I told them that not all kids have that luxury, and as a family that is blessed to receive help when we need it, we should pay it forward and do what we can to help others in need. I broke down the donation monetary amounts for them (it was a fun little math lesson), and told them that $1 provides up to 10 meals, and $10 provided up to 100! They thought that was pretty awesome, and immediately asked if we could participate... because, "kids are hungry and it's not right for them to be if everyone just helps." My eldest son had a sad look on his face and said he wished he didn't spend all his birthday money (way back in April) because he would give $10 to donate for 100 meals. I reassured him that we can't go backwards in time, only forward. So they can be mindful and grateful for all that they get to eat, and be willing to share what they have with others.

As I shared in my previous post for this initial campaign, my kids thankfully have never gone hungry for lack of food. The many times they are hungry, is usually due to a picky palate, not because they don't have anything to eat. This campaign really reminded me of the luxuries afforded to us that so many don't have. 

Did you know that if you dine in the restaurant and donate $3, you'll get coupons in return, well over the amount of your donation, for future dining? My boys were most excited to write their names on the wall, knowing we helped to give 30 meals to other kids today. They are both very tender hearted and simply can't imagine the thought of not being able to eat when they need it most.

Kids are so active, and the lack of nutrition truly affects their moods, retaining information and is a determining factor in their behavior. This cause is so important for that reason alone. We are talking about the future of our country – the minds of our children. 

If you're not able to get to a Denny's location, you're always welcome to donate directly through my fundraising link; there's still time to support the cause in ending child hunger in America. I hope you'll join me and my family, Denny's and No Kid Hungry as we work to bring awareness to this nationwide issue of child hunger.

This conversation was sponsored by Denny's. While I have been compensated to share my thoughts and help bring awareness to the No Kid Hungry campaign, All thoughts and opinions shared are mine.

Let's Share Our Strength with Denny's and No Kid Hungry

Thoughts, FoodCamilleComment

Throughout life there are times where we sit back and reflect on what we have, the privileges afforded to us, and blessings received. As I have partnered with Denny's recently, one of the organizations that they are connected to is No Kid Hungry. When I was asked to participate in this awareness campaign, I knew it would be one that I'd be proud of. The numbers don't lie. In fact it's unsettling when you realize just how many kids are going without food in America.

photo courtesy No Kid Hungry

photo courtesy No Kid Hungry

Did you know that 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year? Here –yes, in America. I know that we know there are poverty-stricken areas, but even the middle class is hit with these scenarios. If we get a little more detailed, here in California, 1 in 4 kids will struggle or have struggled this year. Only 53% of kids that qualify or free/reduced lunch also get school breakfast. Sadly, only 20% of kids that qualify for free/reduced lunches will have summer meals. 

In our local school district, all kids are able to get free breakfast, and over the summer, they did free breakfast and lunch for any child under 18. Man, that's a lot of kids without basic meals. Having a system in place like this allows for every child to get extra nutrients before putting their little minds to work.

Learning and growing is dependent on nutrition, and when a person (myself included) is hungry, we know it is hard to focus and concentrate. I appreciate the many teachers and administrators that notice this and help those children in need, sometimes even out of their own pockets! I've heard countless stories of children not having enough food, and it affects their education, on top of everything else.

photo courtesy No Kid Hungry

photo courtesy No Kid Hungry

I can't imagine the thought of my children having to miss meals due to lack of food. But that is the reality for many families. We do our best to teach our children to be grateful, and appreciative of all that they have; to learn to eat food, even if it isn't their favorite, and to not waste food that they are given. We teach our children to give, and the help others.

While I am a paid member of Denny's Diner Ambassador Council, I am so proud to be part of the No Kid Hungry campaign. I would love for you to please help me and our Ambassador team as we raise funds for this important cause.

Please check out my fundraising page – all proceeds will go directly to No Kid Hungry.

About No Kid Hungry

A non-profit organization dedicated to helping to feed children across America. The campaign itself connects kids with nutritious foods, and teaches their families how to cook healthy meals. For more information on the No Kid Hungry campaign initiative visit their website.

I'm grateful for each and every one of you that took the time to read, those that will donate, and if you feel inclined, please share this message!  

Disclaimer: I am a member of Denny's Ambassador Council, and while this post has been sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are mine.