Camila Alves was born and raised in Brazil to a family of farmers. Her upbringing helped her form a strong connection to not only food, but also charity work. Now, as a mother of three, Camila is balancing her love of family, food and giving back. We recently had the chance to speak with her about these three passions.
Q: What is your favorite food to cook?
A: My favorite food to cook for my family is usually fish dishes! But my kids favorite is the honey chicken wings I make!
Q: What would be your perfect Mother’s Day gift?
A: My favorite Mother’s Day gift is when the kids make something special for me. It means they stopped their day and took time to think of something I would like and show love and gratitude.
Q: How has being a parent changed you?
A: It changed everything! My priorities are now completely different than what they were. No matter what I do or how I go about life, my kids and family are number one. Also, I’ve been a big softy (lol)...and not to mention my ears will never rest again after kids (moms know what I mean).
Q: What is one thing you really hope you can instill in your children as they grow older?
A: Compassion, kindness, gratitude, respect for others. The list goes on and on, but let’s start with those for now!
Q: What is your favorite way to give back?
A: For me, there isn’t specifically a 'favorite'. However, I grew up doing charity work in Brazil and was raised to give back to others. I have done some work giving back with Feeding America and Yummy Spoonfuls, a company I co-own. It was amazing to have the support of Feeding America to help donate truckloads of Yummy Spoonfuls baby food to food banks. Also I co-founded the Just Keep Livin' Foundation. We have school programs doing amazing work with Title 1 schools and teenagers!
Q: What was memorable about your volunteer experience?
A: My company wanted to donate some baby food to a food bank. Feeding America was great in helping with logistics and finding a food bank that could accept the frozen product and store it until it was distributed. On the day of the delivery while making the donation, the thing that struck me most was the folks working at the food bank and how passionate they were about the jobs they do.
Q: Why did you decide to connect with Feeding America?
A: No one should experience hunger, especially children. Being from Brazil I was very surprised to learn that 41 million people face hunger in the U.S and about 13 million are children. I never expected to see these numbers in the United States, a country with so many resources.
Q: What is the most surprising thing you have learned since partnering with Feeding America?
A: The most shocking thing I learned is that $1 =10 meals!!!! Can you imagine that? If you donate $500 you are giving 5,000 meals! I had no idea that Feeding America and their food banks could do that! I have also learned how little these kids have to eat especially on summer breaks with no school in session. As crazy as it sounds in a nation with so much abundance of things and resources, hunger is a real problem in our country.