The holiday season is a magical time in many ways.  The twinkling lights everywhere, the chill in the air that makes you want to snuggle up with the people you love, and just the general sense of excitement because this only comes around once a year.  I’m a hugely sentimental person anyway, but even more so at this time of year.  I always feel so incredibly lucky to have so many truly stellar people in my life, but come November and December I turn into a giant sap and tear up nearly every time I think about it.  Not only that though, I reflect a lot on how fortunate we are to have what we do when many others may not have even the most basic needs met.  Food.  Shelter.  Clothing.

Last year I began a tradition here on the blog where instead of spending money on fancy prizes to give away to you, my wonderful readers, I will instead donate to those in need on your behalf.  There are so many charitable causes that are all deserving of contributions, but for the sake of simplification, I have compiled a few different options to choose from below.  Since the reason we gather here is a shared love of food, this year I have opted to include all food-related charities that each in their own way work to eliminate hunger.  Five comments will be selected at random, and the winning individuals may select a cause from the list below to receive a donation from Annie’s Eats.

  • To enter, leave a comment on THIS POST.  That’s it!
  • The Rules: One entry per person.  Commenting will open Tuesday, December 17 at 4:00 am EST and close on Friday, December 20 at 10:00 pm EST.  Five winners will be selected at random and contacted via email by early next week to select their charity of choice.
  • Full disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Annie’s Eats.

But wait!  Because I do adore you all so very much, I couldn’t resist giving out a few more tokens to show my appreciation to you.  There will be a series of giveaways throughout the rest of the week, but these have all been graciously provided by a handful of fantastic companies so that I can put all of my own resources towards the charities.

I urge you all to read more about the organizations below and the work that they are doing.  They are all great organizations, but I hold a special place for Why Hunger and Shore Soup Project in my heart.  This summer at a blogging retreat I spoke at length with representatives from both of these organizations and was incredibly moved by the experience.  These are really good people doing really good things.

Why Hunger

Shore Soup Project


No Kid Hungry

Action Against Hunger

(top image courtesy of our amazingly talented friends Bobbi and Mike)

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    No Kid Hungry is a group I support every year. Love what they are trying to accomplish.

  • Sarah

    Bravo, Annie!

  • Mary

    What a wonderful idea, Annie! Thanks for spreading the spirit of generosity. I too feel so fortunate this time of year and love the opportunity to give back to those who are needy. Thank you!

  • Emily

    So wonderful!! Thanks, Annie!

  • Julie

    Awesome idea! Hopefully this will inspire other bloggers to do the same!

  • Fran

    This is a wonderful idea! No Kid Hungry —–they rock!

  • Aimee

    I love that you do this sort of giveaway. Action Against Hunger is a wonderful organization.

  • Sascha Alexandra

    This is the best giveaway I have seen yet.

  • Kristin

    Great idea!

  • Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)

    I truly appreciate this giveaway. Sometimes, you really have to remind people that the holidays isn’t about getting gifts but helping those less fortunate. I made it my personal mantra this season less buying, more giving.

  • Kalyn

    I love this idea.

  • Caroline

    This is such a great idea!

  • Tiffany

    I love this idea! What a generous and beautiful thing for you to do….. thank you!

  • Anne

    Great idea, Annie! Thanks for using your influence in such a positive way!

  • Emily Clark

    Beautiful picture of your family and a beautiful way to give to others. The Shore Soup Project sounds very cool. Thank you for your contributions to helping others, and giving us wonderful recipes and ideas. Merry Christmas!

  • Jennifer C Shylanski

    What an awesome way to give!

  • Melissa

    What a wonderful thing you are doing! Thank you, Annie.

  • Amelia

    Very generous of you Annie. I used to be involved with share our strengths a couple of years ago, when I temporarily lived in Denver. Great organization! Last year I taught cooking classes to kids and their families ( mom or dad, grandma, aunt, etc) at our food bank here in charleston through the winter months. So rewarding!!! I love this time of year too. :)

  • Kristen

    Thank you for doing this, Annie. You are a very remarkable lady!

  • Jeanne ODonnell

    I love the idea. We need to take care of our own.

  • Keri

    The thought of anyone going hungry turns me to mush too – thank you for using your platform to share – both in donations and awareness!

  • Telza Brown

    This is a great alternative to the yearly holiday giveaways. At work this holiday season we’ve focused our giving on providing Thanksgiving meals for local families and collecting for the Philippines.

  • brittanycooks

    Great giveaway!! :)

  • Annie Shepherd

    Great idea! It’s too easy to forget about giving back during all of the shopping madness at this time of year.

  • Tania Tilp

    Love this idea.

  • Amanda Solecki

    What an awesome idea!

  • Sue

    What a wonderful idea. Bless you.

  • evabakes

    Great tradition, Annie!

  • Cirrus

    Oh, this is the most fantastic giveaway I’ve seen. And I agree with the previous commenter- No Kid Hungery is great.

  • Patricia Potter

    I think if more people chose to give to these types of charities instead of buying things no one needs it would make a huge difference. Thank you! I love reading your blog!!!

  • Amanda Edwards

    What a wonderful idea!

  • Heather

    I love this!

  • Melinda Z.

    Wow- I’ve never heard of the Shore Soup organization, but what a great cause! Last year, I helped in my minimal way by cooking and delivering an extra Thanksgiving meal to a family in that area. It wasn’t much, but it was what I could swing. (I included your apple pie cookies, btw!) I just love that I might have the chance to do a bit more for these devastated people (via you). Awesome idea, Annie. How cool of you :)

  • Christy

    I think it’s so great that you’re doing this. This time of year always
    reminds me how lucky I am in so many different ways. Giving back is the
    perfect way to help others feel some of that luck as well. Merry
    Christmas, Annie!

  • dek2711

    This is an awesome idea….i will be donating to No Kid Hungry…thanks for bringing these charities into focus.

  • Melissa Vasquez

    Thank you, Annie!

  • Becky Pendergraft

    First off – Annie, you are too awesome for words!! Thank you for sharing and promoting the TRUE spirit of Christmas! <3 I don't think you can go wrong with ANY of the groups you've shared – my family is not wealthy by any means, but we've never gone hungry! Especially with my kids, can't even begin to imagine not being able to give them the most basic of needs – a full stomach.

  • Melissa

    Great idea! Thanks!

  • Lauren C

    I love this idea :-)

  • RA

    Good on you, Annie! And I love that picture in this post. :)

  • Lauren Ochoa

    I’m glad you picked hunger because ever since I had kids of my own, I just can’t bear the thought of any kid going hungry.

  • Wendy Benoit

    What a great way to give back! Thanks for introducing me to these organizations :)

  • Lori

    This is AWESOME, Annie…thank you!

  • Meg Quinn

    I also find myself getting very weapy, thankful, and more sentimental than I normally am (which is a lot) around this time of the year. I love this as a giveaway.

  • Rachael Kotula

    This is awesome! Thanks, Annie!

  • mamy81

    Isn’t it sad to think in a day when people are spending $100,000 on a car, $1000 on a bag, etc… that there could possibly be anyone starving in this world. And although I am not purchasing elaborate things I could certainly stand to help others more.

  • You have such a generous heart! Thank you for doing this! (Also, I appreciate not having to follow/pin/tweet/Instagram things all over the place for a giveaway.) You rock. :)

  • Patti Weeks

    I love this giveaway! So much that I will probably go on much too long for a comment. I believe the first step in giving people a hand up is good nutrition. I have chosen to give most of my donation dollars to the local food bank – a program that was started from the back of a station wagon and progressed to not only a food bank but also life skills and youth programs In some areas we have lived, local charities donate excess garden produce to the food bank programs…so important! Canned and boxed foods are an important staple, but fresh produce brings nutrition to a whole new level. I love all your choices, especially the Shore Soup Project. Even though I don’t live that far away from there, I had never heard of that organization. I was in the path of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene and had flooding, and my house was hit by lightning last year. From my own experience, I know the time for reparations to be made goes far, far beyond when the news reporting is over and the media moves on to the next story.

  • Sara Clark

    Such a wonderful idea — so many blogs talk about this, but I love that you’re actually walking the walk.

  • Katie Wendel

    What an amazing giveaway!! I can’t believe I haven’t seen bloggers do this before. Thank you Annie!

  • Daniela

    What a beautiful way to celebrate the season of giving!

  • Alison Troutwine

    thank you for this opportunity!i adore you too…this is a great idea.

  • Angela

    A neighborhood teacher had posted on a mother’s group asking people to donate some coats to some children at her school who were coming to school in 7 degree weather in nothing but a hoodie. I couldn’t believe that these children only had hoodies. I grabbed any coat I could find in our house that was not essential, including one I love wearing because there was no way I was going to let a child go to school without a coat. The whole experience was deeply moving so I really love this tradition you have started. I think it is a another great way to provide a basic fundamental need….nourishment.

  • Amy Stratton

    Merry Christmas!

  • Liz N.

    Such great organizations to donate to! No Kid Hungry is near and dear to my heart. Thanks for sharing about the other two, which are also incredible organizations. This is giveaway is another reason you are my all time favorite food blogger!

  • Amy

    Such a wonderful thing to do. Thank you!

  • Jackie

    A very nice thing to do for Christmas!!!!!!

  • annieseats

    Yeah, don’t even get me started on that. I refuse to force people to follow me on social networks for a giveaway. So ridiculous.

  • Ana Maria Porras

    This is an amazing idea Annie! Merry Christmas :)

  • Stacey

    This is a wonderful give away! I love that it is focusing on giving rather than receiving!

  • Casey Dunne

    Thank you so much for this. You are a wonderful role model for your kids.

  • Katie Maliszewski

    Great idea, Annie. Thank you for your generosity!

  • Kari M

    What a fantastic giveaway! Merry Christmas!

  • Katie

    What a lovely thing to do! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • bruck

    Hi Annie, thank you for doing this.

  • baking4six

    Off topic here, but there is something magical about the photo…. a very special moment in time – captured forever.

  • NaDell Ransom

    I’d love to win this one and give it back.

  • Heidi C

    I love this idea Annie. What a great blogger you are!

  • Jennifer Cory Behler

    What a wonderful idea!

  • Rebecca

    This is the most thoughtful giveaway I’ve seen this season. Way to remember that one of our biggest blessings is the ability to give to and share with others!

  • What a fabulous giveaway, Annie! Thanks for the reminder to give of yourself. Happy Holidays!

  • Jordan Thomas

    This is a great idea. I actually think I’ll follow suit and do the same for a few Christmas presents!

  • Jennifer Kane


  • leanna

    Wonderful idea.

  • Amanda Byers

    Love that you’re doing this again, thank you!

  • Kristen

    This is such a great idea! We need more people like you in this world, especially during the holidays

  • Stephanie Coleman

    Merry Christmas Annie!

  • Laura Fussner

    Love this giveaway… Love your blog… Thank you!

  • Christiana

    Praying for those in need this season, may they be blessed through these wonderful charities. Merry Chisrtmas Annie!

  • Jennifer

    What an inspiring idea! Thanks for being such a blessing!

  • Chatelaine

    this is fantastic :)

  • Anna Langer

    Annie, this is such a thoughtful and apt way to celebrate the holidays. I am proud to know you (even through the internet).

    volunteer at a high school on the Southwest side of Chicago, and you’d
    be shocked how little these young adults have. I teach cooking classes
    about how to cook healthy meals using ingredients commonly found at food
    pantries and available for purchase with Link (food stamps). Most of
    the students survive on chips and soda because they do not have the
    money for anything else. I’m so glad to see that someone with your
    amount of influence and readership is talking about these vital issues.

  • Meg

    Just another reason why I love you and your blog! I loved this idea when you did it last year, and I love that you are continuing it. It truly is a time to give to others and reflect on the fortune in our own lives. Thanks for choosing to honor your readers in such a beautiful way!

  • Sara S

    This is an incredible giveaway.

  • Ashley Scott

    Great idea! :)

  • Katie

    I love this! This is a giveaway I’d really love to win!

  • Cathy

    I’m a firm believer in paying it forward!

  • Jen

    Great idea in this hectic time when all we think about is what we are going to get. It’s good to remember that giving is much more fun than receiving, and giving back to people in need is the best feeling of all!

  • Larisa

    beautiful idea!

  • Emilie in MN

    Annie, what a lovely idea! Happy holidays!

  • The most beautiful of giveaways :)

  • Shelby Chubb

    This is so great, Annie. Thanks for doing this. No matter which one gets chosen, I’m sure they’ll be thankful for the help (and maybe they’ll even get a few more donations due to the publicity you’re giving them)!

  • Noel Carlson

    good stuff happening here.

  • Sara Kilpatrick

    By far the best giveaway on the web!

  • Jen

    What a wonderful giveaway!

  • Stacey Timmreck

    Hi Annie – I’ve never commented here before but figured this was a good one for the first time. :) Thanks for doing this – a wonderful idea and a great reminder of the real reason for the season.

  • Jessica

    A very kind and wonderful idea, Annie!

  • Kaitlin

    I love that you do this! Such a great way to give to those who are really in need.

  • Emma

    Bravo, Annie. Thank you for doing this. I hope you and your family have a great holiday season.

  • Clare S

    Thank you for doing this. You’ve given me a reminder of what’s truly important this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

  • Dani

    This is the best giveaway I’ve seen. You’re a wonderful person, Annie!

    P.S. That photo is absolutely stunning

  • Theresa Shore


  • Jennifer

    This truly is the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas, Annie!

  • Heather Spence Koziarz

    Thank you Annie! What a wonderful giveaway

  • debbie

    Thanks for helping out these worthy charities, Annie!

  • Kelly

    What a beautiful idea! Have a wonderful holiday with your family!

  • Gail Harris

    Such Kindness! Merry Christmas.

  • Holly Tallent

    Love this idea!

  • SK

    Best giveaway ever!! Love the idea, god bless.

  • Amanda Swanson Lock

    Wonderful giveaway! :-)

  • Locally we support Loaves & Fishes and CROP. Also prepare food to feed homeless for Room in the Inn.

    This is a great idea and fun to be on the same page.

  • You are awesome. Love this.

  • Colleen Cappellini

    Aww, such a generous and kind post! How you manage to keep your poise and balance with your crazy life, it’s soooo inspirational! Thank you :)

  • Carla

    Such a good idea! Many families (working poor) are struggling to feed their children now, especially over Christmas vacation when they do not get breakfast and lunch at school.

  • Rita

    Great idea. Happy Holidays.

  • Margaret Morgan Carlisle

    With the way things are, you never know when you may be the recipient of one of the charities. Thanks for doing this.

  • Amanda Blake

    You really are the best!

  • G B

    You have a big heart Annie- best wishes to you and your family this holiday season.

  • Liz @ FloatingKitchen

    Great idea, Annie. Thanks for doing this!

  • Tarah

    This all seem like great organizations that truly make a difference. Donating to anyone would be awesome.

  • Melissa Brooker

    Annie, you never cease to amaze me. You are a truly kind hearted person and I am honoured to “know” you. They are all such worthy causes!

  • Leet Kitchen

    Super awesome idea. =o] More bloggers should do this, for sure.

  • Annie Hilscher

    I recall this being done last year. It inspired me to do something similar. I’m a couponer and was able to not only use my coupons to get my own children toys, but to also provide toys for 8 children through Toys for Tots. Thanks for being an inspiration in the kitchen and in life!

  • Wendy Perkins

    What a great idea! Merry Christmas.

  • iratchka t

    What a wonderful giveaway! Thank you!

  • Donna H

    What a kind person you are! When hearing how children go hungry all weekend just waiting to return to school on Monday morning breaks my heart. It’s something I can only imagine and makes me realize how truly blessed my family and friends are. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  • SarahB13

    I love participating in random acts of kindness, especially during the holidays. Reminds everyone, myself included, to focus on what matters.

  • Marcela Rodriguez Gonzales

    Worthy causes!

  • Amanda

    Love this idea! Happy holidays to you and your family!

  • What a wonderful idea Annie- I’m so inspired by your kindness :)

  • Tracy Spangler

    This is a truly wonderful giveaway. My family and I live in poverty, and it makes me feel a bit more optimistic about our future that there are people like you and organizations like the ones you’ve listed that are helping many people in need, especially with food, which is the basis of life and must be secured before any individual or family can create a better life for themselves. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to give to one of these groups, as otherwise I would never be able to do so.

  • Ping Teresa Yeh

    What a lovely lovely idea! =) Thanks for taking the time to share about giving to others, especially during the holidays when it’s so easy to think about just yourself and those close to you!

  • Cheri

    Wonderful idea! Merry Christmas!

  • Laura

    I love your blog! It is my go to site for recipes. This is such a wonderful and generous idea this Christmas season!

  • Muff Hackett

    As an elementary school secretary who manages the snack and lunch programs for our small school I applaud your efforts to bring awareness and support to these causes that work so hard to stem the tide of hungry children. I would add the Breakfast Clubs of Canada ( to the list as they provide funding to schools and programs all across the country.

  • Bianca

    this is an amazing idea!

  • Dana Slatkin

    You’re paying it forward, Annie! Thanks for all the delicious inspo. May your holidays be full of R ‘n R and blessings! Best wishes from 90210.

  • MaryB

    Awesome way to do a giveaway! Thanks for doing this.

  • Jodi Fehr

    I love your blog and love this idea!

  • Sammy

    Nice! I also like to give to charity during these cold and cozy days :)

  • Cait

    This is a wonderful idea! Thank you!

  • Carolyn McCambridge

    How awesome of a concept Shore Soup is. I absolutely cannot imagine experiencing a traumatic event like a hurricane or tornado and being left with absolutely nothing in a blink of an eye. You are left vulnerable and at the mercy of others really.

  • Mary

    It is easy to become complacent if we live without real need. There is such great need in our communities large and small; thank you for reminding us all of this. I believe that if we all choose something locally to work on, we can make a difference person by person, community by community. Merry Christmas!

  • Helena

    Thank you, Annie. Happy Christmas!

  • Hanna

    What a lovely idea!!

  • Sara

    Such a wonderful thing to do!

  • Nicole

    This is awesome, thank you!

  • Susanne

    Thank you for paying it forward, Annie. I almost never comment, but I read you faithfully! Merry Christmas to you and your adorable family.

  • This is an amazing idea, Annie! I’m excited for the winners (although crossing my fingers) and think it’s wonderful you capturing the spirit of the season – thank you!

  • Kate Whitebread

    Thank you!

  • Mimi

    Great idea, thanks!

  • Julie Slagle

    Love it.

  • Jennifer Hamilton

    Very generous!

  • Brittany Persson

    Great idea! I have friends who donate instead of sending Christmas cards.

  • Lisa S

    Expresses the real sentiment of the holidays. Awesome.

  • Jan

    Wonderful idea! Merry Christmas to you and yours! And thank you for the wonderful recipes you post all year!

  • Kelly

    No Kid Hungry is a fantastic organization. This is a wonderful idea Annie (and I suggest you look into City Harvest as well – I’m an active volunteer!)

  • Casie Madsen

    It’s more blessed to give than to receive. Blessings to you! :)

  • Steph in Lex

    Bruce Springsteen has always been really involved in fighting against hunger and plugs Why Hunger all the time–he also has food drives at his concerts for local food banks.

    I’m not a crier, but I actually started tearing up a couple of nights ago thinking about a news report I saw on Syrian refugees. They were interviewing a woman who had seven kids–two of them were kids the same ages as mine (33 months and 15 months). I was filled with gratitude that my kids aren’t living in a war zone and I don’t have to worry about feeding and clothing them. What a wonderful idea for celebrating the holidays, Annie!

  • Angela

    This is amazing. I love that you do this. I’d choose No Kid Hungry.

  • Jayne Niemi

    It’s good to remember that not all are as fortunate as we are. Thanks for reinforcing that message.

  • Becky

    Nice idea!

  • Karen Brogger Hagstrom

    this is a fantastic idea – I love it – Thank you!

  • ESalbilla

    What a wonderful idea – and a great way to celebrate the season!

  • Samantha Gordon

    Thanks and happy holidays!

  • You are amazing and this is wonderful for those in need. Truly tis the season for sharing and caring!

  • Jennifer Bulpitt

    Good way to be mindful during the Christmas season!

  • Vinutha M

    Such a fabulous idea! I love it. Happy holidays to you!

  • ducky

    count me in!

  • Melissa K

    This is a wonderful idea! Merry Christmas!

  • Debi

    What a wonderful idea and a great way to give to the community. Merry Christmas!

  • Kristie

    Such a wonderful idea! Thank you for the opportunity to give back in such an amazing way. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

  • Nina

    Thank you so much for doing this, Annie. Those of us that have the luxury of perusing your recipes and thinking about how to use different ingredients to make wonderful food MUST think of those who do not have enough. It is to our own shame that we allow hunger in the world, and I applaud you for not only addressing it, but making us think about it too. Maybe we will take other action as well as posting here. I know I will.

  • Morgan

    so amazing Annie!

  • Stephanie

    Amazing giveaway!!! Thank you so much, Annie!

  • I love this idea! In fact, most of us are fortunate enough to have more than enough and so I’d love to see gift giving at Christmas lean more toward donating to those in need!

  • Marilyn

    Such a great idea! Merry Christmas!

  • Jess E.

    A wonderful and generous idea!

  • Susan

    Thank you for this giveaway in the real spirit of the season!

  • thumpertx

    What a wonderful idea. We gave donations to the local mission food banks in honor of our children in the cities they each live in as their Christmas presents. When we are warm and well fed it’s easy to remember that not all people live like that. Thanks for this opportunity.

  • Merry Christmas, guys!

  • Cathy L Bishop

    a great idea in the spirit of Christmas!

  • disqus_z9devWPId8

    Our family has made much more of an effort this year to give to those in need and we have loved the results so far! Even our 9 year old mentioned how happy she felt when she picked her charity of choice. Great idea, thank you so much!

  • Heather Kim

    awesome giveaway, annie! and i love the top photo – it’s so sweet ^ ^

  • Donna

    so thoughtful and wonderful. Thanks for being one of a kind!

  • Kat

    You are an amazing person. I know you hear that a bit, but please take it to heart. I love that you’re spreading the word on more meaningful giving this time of year.

  • Jenelle Caporali

    It would be lovely to give to a local food bank this holiday season. They are struggling, so it would be much appreciated!

  • Kimiko

    I love what you are doing. It’s always nice to see someone with a selfless, caring heart, not just during the holidays but year-round. Your generosity will help so many, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. :)

  • Delilah

    What an awesome idea!

  • Elizabeth from Indy

    So great, Annie! Thank you! I think all of those charities are so deserving. Wonderful idea from a generous heart!

  • Shae Tilson

    Merry Christmas! What a great idea!

  • Erin Landers Fausett

    Hope you have a great Christmas! What a great contest!

  • AD

    yay I’d love the chance to select a charity

  • Jamila Basharat

    What a wonderful idea!

  • DianneCK

    What an awesome give-away! You capture the true meaning of the season. Thank you.

  • sweettoothduo

    Love this! I am always the one hoping we can ditch the Yankee Swap (as fun as they are) and give to a charity. Do we really need more clutter? BTW, your family photos are AMAZING!! I had NO idea that cover photo was you guys until I looked at the album. Keep on lovin’ that family!

  • Lauren

    Very thoughtful of you! Have a great holiday!

  • Caroline

    What a wonderful thing to do. No matter who wins, everyone wins.

  • Laura

    What a beautiful giveaway!

  • Rachel Kirby

    What a beautiful giveaway. Thank you!

  • Amber

    This is such a fun giveaway to capture the true meaning of giving during this Christmas season, especially since sitting at a computer (or using a smartphone) means that we have so much more then so many others already.

  • Terri

    I love this giveaway!

  • Mary Clay Kline

    Such a wonderful giveaway! Merry Christmas!

  • jenpr

    So generous!