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Food Network star Sandra Lee receives award for work on poverty, homelessness

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 8:47 a.m. MDT

Sandra Lee found fame on the Food Network demonstrating a cooking concept called semi-homemade. Using 70 percent packaged foods and 30 percent fresh ingredients, she whips up quick-serve meals on her weekly show Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee.

While the television chef loves teaching viewers how to make simple food from easily accessible products, her true passion is advocating for anti-hunger groups such as Feeding America and UNICEF. Recently, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty announced that this November they will honor her at their annual McKinney Vento Awards for her tireless advocacy of the poor and hungry.

“I’m honored to receive the ... award. I stand, united, with the dedicated members of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, who work tirelessly to prevent and end homelessness,” Lee said.

“The face of homelessness is diverse," she continued, "its devastating reach includes over 3 million people, and 1.3 million children. I look forward to a time when homelessness and hunger are completely eradicated. Until that day, we must continue to be vigorous and passionate about fighting to end homelessness for the common good of our society.”

Lee knows firsthand what it is like to be poor and hungry. At age 11, her invalid mother tasked her with raising her four siblings. The family was dependent on welfare and food stamps. Some days the family was so desperate for food that Lee would bring home part of her school lunch so her brothers and sisters could eat. The experience of feeding four kids on food stamps taught her to be resourceful — something she preaches on her television show.

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