Help fight childhood hunger with the Macaroni Grill #macgrillgive

Macaroni Grill has invited me to join bloggers nationwide in an initiative to end childhood hunger, and I in turn invite you to take action to raise awareness about and donate to this very important cause, dear readers.

I’m excited to announce that for each blog post created as part of the initiative, including this one, one child will be connected with up to 500 meals.  It’s solving childhood hunger one child at a time!

Did you you know that one in five children is hungry in America?  It’s an astounding number, but I believe it’s a number we can change by sharing our resources, both of time and of money.

Raising awareness is the key to tackling the problem head-on, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill, partnering with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, is taking action to do just that.

There are many ways that you can help from now until the end of September.  You can donate $2 to this important cause during your next visit to Macaroni Grill and receive $5 off your next meal at Macaroni Grill.

You can also share an artist-inspired image from the Mac Grill Give Facebook Gallery, and they’ll provide a child with one meal.  Please visit to find out all the ways you can help.  The Twitter hashtag for the initiative is #macgrillgive.

Learn more about the statistics for childhood hunger in America here:

Macaroni Grill asked me to share a memory of my favorite Italian meal as a part of this post.  While most children can only dream of Venice, I was fortunate enough to have enjoyed one of the best meals of my life there.  I hope tonight that every child around the world will enjoy the full belly and warm heart that I experienced on one very special night in Venice.

Venice canal. Photo by Larry Ivy

Lasagna in Venice

It’s not hard to remember my favorite Italian meal.  It was in Venice. 


Venice canal. Photo by Larry Ivy.


I was 15, and we had just traveled the canals and through the city’s winding alleys to arrive at a small hotel called the Locanda Riva.  We were tired and hungry tourists arriving late, and the hotel’s restaurant was already closed.  

An elderly Italian couple, the Salmazos, owned the hotel, and Mrs. Salmazo took pity on us.  She opened the restaurant just for us, and served us some of her home made lasagna.  It was the best I ever had.  As we left the restaurant, preparing to ascend countless flights of stairs to our little room on the top floor, we caught Mr. Salmazo sitting at the front desk.  

He was on the phone, listening to a radio call in show.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that he was talking to the show’s host, live on the air, at that very moment.  He invited us over and introduced us, the newly arrived American tourists, to all of Venice via the radio.  

That night I sat on the roof of the hotel, underneath a clothesline with hotel linens blowing in the summer night breeze, looking across the rooftops to the domes and spires of St. Mark’s basilica.  

St. Mark’s square in Venice.  Photo by Larry Ivy.


The Locanda Riva no longer exists, but the memory of it will live forever in my mind.


    • Reel Mama says

      It’s frightening that so many children are going hungry in the world’s most prosperous nation. It’s definitely a motivation to make a difference, even in small ways.

    • Reel Mama says

      I agree, Rachel! This is such a great idea, and I really think it will make such a difference. Everyone contributing in small ways can change the world for the better!

  1. says

    Hi Lauren,
    Great campaign! I’ve heard the fact that one in five children in America is hungry but I always thought it’s just an exaggeration. I hope you achieve great things with this idea.
    Anne recently posted..cazare techirghiolMy Profile

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