Common Threads offers resources to families facing food insecurity on World Food Day

By Common Threads | Oct 14, 2020

Food community lends its voice to promote wellness on Friday, Oct. 16

AUSTIN (Oct. 13, 2020) – COVID-19 has had a profound impact on communities across the country, with one in five American families facing food insecurity, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. The national nutrition education nonprofit Common Threads is stepping in to help families in need on a href=”” target=”_blank”>World Food Day, Friday, Oct. 16, highlighting resources and recipes that reinforce wellness through a social media campaign led by prominent members of the food community.

Throughout the day on Friday, Oct. 16, chefs and culinary professionals such as Art Smith, Michelle Bernstein, Gail Simmons, Rick Bayless, Jernard Wells, Ming Tsai, Anita Lo, Rock Harper, Lindsay Autry, Brian Nasajon, Julie Frans and Lorena Garcia will be posting videos and content to their social media accounts. Chef Ingrid Hoffmann will host an Instagram Live “Ask a Chef” session and recipe demo, encouraging families to ask her questions about how to make select foods on her Instagram account (@ingridhoffmannofficial). Content will also be shared throughout the day on Common Threads’ social media account (@CommonThreadsOrg). [View chefs’ recipes]

“Chefs always have so many great tips for helping people understand how to use their ingredients and make the most of what they have in the cupboard or in the refrigerator,” said Linda Novick O’Keefe, co-founder and CEO of Common Threads. “These top chefs have been longtime supporters of Common Threads’ mission of inspiring families to make affordable, nutritious and appealing family meals, something that’s particularly important now as millions of families are facing food insecurity.”

Resources, including affordable recipes with video demonstrations, national hunger and food bank locators, and smart shopping tips are available on Common Threads’ website

World Food Day is one of Common Threads’ many initiatives to provide support to communities during the pandemic. As COVID-19 began to impact communities across the country, the organization coordinated food distribution programs in cities such as Chicago, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The organization has also transitioned its programs to a virtual environment, including offering a 10-day summer camp and establishing free on-demand programming. This fall, Common Threads is raising money so that it can deliver groceries to families participating in virtual programs, a benefit that gives participants the tools they need to complete the lessons, while also providing the family with two meals that will feed four people.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of World Food Day, an initiative led across 150 countries by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This year, the organization encourages government, private businesses, nonprofit organizations and citizens from across the world to raise awareness in rebuilding food systems during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Initial research shows that families with small children and Black and brown families are facing the brunt of COVID-19’s effects, including food insecurity and deaths. The Brookings Institution study found that mothers with children under the age of 12 faced much a much higher rate of food insecurity than the total population (two in five households compared to one in five). Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show disproportionately high rates of death in some minority communities, including the Black community (20.7 percent, compared to 13 percent of the total population, as of statistics published Oct. 12).

To learn more about supporting Common Threads’ World Food Day initiative or to make a donation to Common Threads, visit

About Common Threads

Common Threads was founded in Chicago in 2003 by CEO Linda Novick O’Keefe, celebrity chef Art Smith and his husband, artist Jesus Salgueiro, as a way to bring under-resourced children together, help them celebrate different cultures and teach them about healthy nutrition. From its humble beginnings in a church basement, Common Threads now services children and families in 12 markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Pittsburgh, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, El Paso and Erie. For more information, visit or search #CookingForLife on social media.