Kitchen Connection - Reflections from our Participation in the 71st United Nations General Assembly

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Reflections from our Participation in the 71st United Nations General Assembly

Reflections from our Participation in the 71st United Nations General Assembly

 Updates From 2/11/17

As of January 2017, our founder, Earlene Cruz, serves as a youth representative to the United Nations' Department of Public Information, and in her capacity focuses on learning about issues related to food inequity and food insecurity. 


The United Nations has recently launched a new initiative where they will recognize young leaders, who are committed to being leaders in the efforts to end poverty, reduce inequalities and combat climate changes. The initiative is called the UN Young Leaders initiative, headed by the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. The initiative will recognize 17 young leaders on an annual basis from all over the world who are driving change to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Young Leaders initiative is meant to showcase the outstanding leadership of the youth in helping to steer the world on a better and more sustainable path. The leaders come from different backgrounds and from different parts of the world. The global call for nominations will help discover young adults between the ages of 18-30 from all over the world, from different sectors, finding those who are at the forefront of leading positive change in the world towards a sustainable future. The eventual goal is to motivate more young people will be motivated to help push forward the global Sustainable Development Goals.


At the Pathways to Zero Hunger UNGA Meeting


We are proud and honored to announce that our founder Earlene Cruz has been one of the thousands nominated for the UN Young Leaders Initiative award. As the founder of Kitchen Connection, her mission is to provide a space that connects people and empowers them through the nature of that connection to contribute to the greater humanity in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Kitchen Connection is an online foodie social network where chefs and lay food lovers can teach online and interactive cooking classes. The hosts of the classes (connections) can be paid, or choose to donate some or all of the funds from the class to our partner charity, Action Against Hunger and most recently, Whole Food's Whole Planet Foundation, in support of the United Nation’s Zero Hunger Challenge. 

At Kitchen Connection, we believe that when we are eating together, someone else is eating, too.  

In line with this belief, Earlene Cruz was in attendance of two meetings at the United Nations for the 71st General Assembly, which gathered world leaders, members of both the public and private sector, as well as members of zero society, all with the ultimate mission to support the SDGs, in particular the second SDG, which aims to end hunger by 2030.







With Ashley Baxstrom, Policy Advisor at the United Nations



One of the appointed Young Leaders, Ms. Rita Kimani, urges us to recognize that although millennial are seen as the “microwave” generation, that it is not a bad thing. “We are the now generation. Join us in feeling the urgency!” 

At our first meeting, Together for the 2030 Agenda, there was an emphasis on partnership. Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon reminded those in attendance “collaboration brings innovation.”

In this light, leaders discouraged competition, and instead urged us to work together for a common purpose, not to be too busy to partner or to compete for space and time and money, holding each other accountable for one another and for our stakeholders.

We are reminded that development is a catalyst for financial goals, rather than a substitute for it.

Our second meeting, Pathways to Zero Hunger, reminded us that the goals for #zerohunger are those that are seeking a world where food systems are resilient, particularly so in respect to climate change.

Moderator and special advisor on the 2030 Agenda, David Nabarro, emphasized the importance of every global citizen as part of the pathway to zero hunger and that new challenges require new ways of working.







Dan Barber, an acclaimed chef, appointed by Barack Obama to guide the discourse on food and agriculture in the US,referenced Japanese rice culture: “the cuisines of the world have created [foods] that are representative of their agricultural landscape.”

Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme focused her discourse on empathy over sympathy, not just about providing temporary care, but about forging partnerships, most important amongst governments that had the potential to scale and make a change: “In Africa, the average age of the farmer is over 60; we need to make farming sexy again...Zero hunger can be a part of reality. There is no reason why we should leave this to our children! [Hunger] should not be a part of our collective global history.” She continued, quoting Nelson Mandela “‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’ It is our responsibility to get it done”





We believe that together, our efforts are a pathway leading the world to #zerohunger.



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