Alameda County Community Food Bank Food Drive at Piedmont Cinemas for Julie & Julia Opening
The corporate powers behind the new movie Julie & Julia are trying to tie into the blogging phenomenon that shaped the success of Julie Powell's blog and subsequent book about the personal and culinary growth she experienced by cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (There is a natural synergy, it shows they are social media savvy and it helps create a lot of buzz for them. Oh, and it's probably a heck of a lot cheaper than traditional advertising.
They really needn't bother, the blogging and food world (even those with issues about Powell and/or the blog and/or the book) have done it on their own -- everything from Julie/Julia commemorative dinners and dinner parties to philosophical discussions about the place of Julia Child and/or Julie Powell in today's food world. (FYI -- the link is to Julie's current blog, the one the book is based on seems near on to impossible to find now -- if you know the link, please leave a comment below.) The movie is also based on the excellent memoir of Child's years in France, My Life in France.
My contribution to all this hoopla was very personal. The joy of cooking both Julia and Julie experienced left me wondering about those for whom eating is more of an elemental existence and for whom hunger is an unfortunate fact of life. I couldn't believe that with all the corporate, blogging and other tie-ins, I had not seen anything like this. I did what I had to do. I emailed. I emailed the food bank, I emailed local theaters and then I followed up. In the end, the movie theater and the food bank worked it out and there will be a barrel for collecting non-perishable food at the Piedmont Cinemas for the Julie & Julia August 7th opening and for the week beyond.
It would have been nice to try to get more of a fundraiser and a wider campaign, but I'm happy that at least the people going in and out of that one theater in Oakland CA will see the barrel, maybe make a donation, and become more aware of the growing hunger in our communities even while they celebrate the unique accomplishments of Julie & Julia.
I encourage you to donate food or cash equivalent to the cost of your movie ticket to your local food bank. (You can find your local agency here.) Thanks.
About the photo: donations from the barrels at Alameda County Community Food Bank, circa 2/2006
I haven't written much about the wondrous Julia Child, but do here.