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Paula Deen Handing Out Ramen Noodles To Kids
Posted by Jillian Madison

YouTube video description: Paula Deen was in the Louisville area for the grand opening of the Paula Deen Buffet at the Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana. During her trip she also visited with students at a New Albany elementary school. She helped with the distribution of food as part of the schools Blessings in a Backpack program.

RAMEN NOODLES? Do those even qualify as a “food” — let alone “blessings in a backpack?”

One youtube commenter said it best: “White flour, salt, and MSG. She should have just handed out packets of diabetes.”

Oh well. It’s the photo-op with kids that counts, right?

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    78 Responses

  1. Diane says:

    Seriously? I’m not sure why I’m surprised though. The only thing that I’m really wondering about is why she wasn’t handing out sticks of butter to go along with it.

  2. Donald says:

    “Paula Deen Buffet at the Horseshoe Casino”

    Is that a fucking joke?

    • R-U-Kidding says:

      No it’s real and the food sucks.

      I still cringe when I remember Pauler’s commercial when her buffet was just opening in which she repeatedly pronounced it Horseshoe “Casinah.”
      Even the worst country bumpkin I know isn’t so lazy they can’t form their mouths into an O.

      • FuryOfFirestorm says:

        That’s Paula’s schtick – speakin’ wif a suthern aksent meens that shee’s keepin’ it reel, y’all!

        If you watch her earlier shows, (before she became a shameless whore and a parody of herself), Paula’s accent wasn’t so forced, nor did she use “y’all” 42 times in a single sentence.

        Everytime she opens her mouth, I want to taser her in the boobs.

  3. Tara says:

    Wow, i know if i got sausage in a can I’d be pretty excited…..NOT!!

  4. dave says:

    Ramen, Vienna sausages and generic mac’n cheese? Those blessings are so high in sodium. And I’ll bet anything those granola bars are packed with sugar too. What are these people thinking?

  5. DaveNelson says:

    That scummy woman.

  6. Eurodancemix says:

    The only way she could kill ‘em any faster is if she’d fed ‘em one of her buttery meals.

  7. Rootietoot says:

    The program provides a backpack with easy to fix foods in it, and kids who typically have their only meal at school take it home so they’ll have something to eat during the weekend. The main idea is to give the kids something to put in their stomachs, when they ordinarily wouldn’t have anything to eat at all. The emphasis is on ‘easy to fix’ because some of these children don’t have a kitchen, or an adult available to cook a regular meal. Since ramen noodles can be fixed in the microwave with no additional ingredients (other than water), and since the contents of the backpack are DONATIONS, and not provided by the school or the gonvernment, the backpacks contain whatever people give. Sure, it may be a photo op for Paula Deen, but the program is a volunteer and donations thing, not a government subsidized one.

    • Tom says:

      Im not a big fan of Paula. I don’t watch her shows and generally don’t like her style of food. Do we really want to be critical of what she’s doing here? They needed food that doesn’t need to be kept cold and needs minimal preparation. I know it was PR but still a nice thing to do.

      • R-U-Kidding says:

        I think the ones who seem critical of her is due to the fact that, with all of her millions, she didn’t even donate any decent food to the kids (as far as we know).

        • Scoobie-Doobie-Do says:

          Wait the Effin Minute!

          Where were you Pauler Bashers when Anthony Bourdain was going all slamma-jamma on her? The amount of righteous indignation was thick enough to cut with a knife.

        • Sandykay says:

          This is a sad Catch-22 situation….I can see both sides….I think it is better for these kids to have the ‘food’ (even thought it’s not the healthiest) they are given as opposed to nothing….of course would it be better for them to have healthier options…does anyone here who has been so critical of the options care to step up and donate??? Put your money where your mouth is….and where these kid’s mouths are….

    • al dente this says:

      I don’t understand children not eating at home, on the weekends, or have an adult ‘available’. Does DCS know about this? Seems inconceivable with all of the charitable organizations out there, etc. There should be NO INNOCENT CHILD going hungry. Then again, it seems like quite the dichotomy if we have such an obesity epidemic. Which one is it?

      • laura says:

        As a social worker in the child welfare system, I know all too well the children who go hungry. It is not always due to drugs and parents who don’t care. Some of the families honestly have to make choices between paying utilities and eating. It is heartbreaking, that one of the richest countries has children who go hungry.

        • al dente this says:

          I guess I still don’t understand how this can happen. There are food banks all over the country run by local and regional agencies to help in these situations. Heck, even in my small community, there are several groups that have commodity/food giveaways several times a month. IMO, if a child goes hungry, it is caused by an negligent caregiver. It pisses me off because I see plenty of opportunities to get the food needed.

      • al dente this says:

        Proud single Mom of three children, have a job and own my own house paid for with MY hard earned money. What was your point again? You’re too funny. LMAO!

    • heatnjoy says:

      You just described my boys..thank god for ramen and for 2 ffree meals a day at school. For this single out of work mom..Paula, ramen, food pantrys have kept my boys as healthy as they can be in our family’s life jus sayin

  8. Daria says:

    Ok so I can’t watch any vids at work but I looked up this Blessings in a Backpack site and this type of food is part of their program.
    From their Q&A:

    Q: What type of food items are in the backpacks?
    A: All items are non-perishable, kid friendly food and contain three of the four essential food groups. Items include but are not limited to granola bars, raisins, apple sauce, crackers, macaroni and cheese, soups, etc.

    It is a shame the way kids are fed in schools these days. While I can appreciate what Paula and this program are doing to help kids, giving them heavily processed food is not going to help them grow into healthy adults and is not going to help our obesity/diabetes rates. They need to be giving them real food for their parents to cook at home.
    Giving them sticks of butter would actually be preferable! Since saturated fat is not unhealthy and fat is especially important for growing children!

    /end rant

    • TinaM says:

      Right on Daria, first time I have read on here that someone agrees with me on saturated fat

    • buffy says:

      Saturated fat IS unhealthy, just not as unhealthy as trans fat. That said, I agree with everything else you said. Holy shit, that stuff doesn’t even qualify as food.

      • Daria says:

        It has never been proven that there is any link between saturated fat and heart disease. We ate saturated animal fat for years and years and survived just fine as a species. In fact the fat you store in your own body is saturated fat.
        We were not meant to consume fats made in a laboratory, so all the “vegetable oils” are the real problem, makes complete sense to me. There’s plenty of work on this you can read or just check out the documentary “Fathead.”

  9. Jan_el says:

    Paula near my home? I thought I sensed a disturbance in the force.

    I am happy the kids will be eating, but there are far more healthful things to donate:

    Canned albacore tuna/white chicken
    Tins of vegetarian baked beans
    Almond or Sunflower butter
    Fresh apples
    Unsweetened berry applesauce cups
    Low sugar fruit cups
    Whole wheat crackers
    Low sodium soup cups
    Low sugar cereal packs
    Aseptic packed rice or almond milk

    • Susan says:

      Yeah I predict those would end up in the trash faster than anything

    • Bubba says:

      Hell, I’d rather have the Ramen noodles than this…

    • Sam says:

      And all of the items you are talking about are vastly more expensive than ramen and mac and cheese. And knowing that these kids would be eating NOTHING without the food given, I don’t think its right for you to name more expensive items to replace the ones that were kindly donated.

      Plus some of the items you suggested are perishable and others require more prep time than microwaving a bowl of ramen. And we can hope these children will start getting fed properly at somepoint, but honestly, eating ramen over the weekend, not going to kill them. I’ve known plenty of people who ate it every single day through college and turned out just fine. Hell my college at a ramen cooking contest to see who could make the ‘best ramen’.

      And I am a very healthy person. And even I would never eat unsweetened berry applesauce cups. If I’m eating applesauce its either got to be homemade or the sweetened cinnamon stuff that is awful for you but tastes amazing. It is in fact, one of the only things I will eat when I have the flu.

    • April says:

      These things are great. They are also relatively expensive.

    • Jan_el says:

      Whatever. Let’s just keep giving kids crap and allow them to go to an early grave from diabetes, heart disease, cancer.

      • Flutterby88 says:

        Are you going to open your wallet and pay for it? The stuff you listed is expensive. They can feed more children by keeping costs DOWN. You could probably feed 20 kids some ramen rather than one kid some sunflower butter.

        They aren’t concerned about these kids growing into healthy adults. They’re concerned about them surviving their childhood. These children need something to eat, even if it’s not particularly healthy.

  10. Ferd Berfle says:

    A similar project is done in my area. This is food that people donate to give to children who eat all their meals during the week at school and wouldn’t otherwise have anything to eat on weekends. No telling what their parents are doing with the food stamps they receive, considering they don’t seem to be trying to feed their own children any of the free food that comes their way.

    • laura says:

      Are you aware that a family of four only recieves 480.00 amonth in food stamps in the State of Kansas? The USDA is still basing dollar amounts using food costs from 2006. I can assure you that as a social worker on the front lines of poverty, most families are trying to feed their families, but 480.00 in 2011 is not the same as that amount in 2006.

      • ButtaRumCake says:

        But it’s still money they DON’T have to spend on another bill. I’d GLADLY take that $480.00 to feed my child every month, but alas, my unemployment is $26 over the limit to qualify for ANY type of assistance.

        I’m one of those people that have to make a choice between feeding my kid and keeping the electricity on. Oh and the nearest food bank is pretty darn far when your gas light has been on for 3 days and you have to take your child to school and get to class yourself.

        *blank stare*

    • Leah says:

      I don’t know how food stamps work in other states, but in Illinois you’re given a card…sort of like a debit card. Thankfully, they don’t allow you to get money off of the card so it’s not like you can go buy crack with it. You have to buy pretty specific food. It can’t be anything prepared hot, can’t be alcohol, etc. That being said, they still let you buy chips, soda, ice cream, etc. So, some of these parents are buying food, but it might not be the right kind. In some cases, I think it’s better they’re eating anything rather than going with nothing at all.

      There’s so many kids in the Chicago suburbs that could use programs like this. They’re literally eating breakfast and lunch at school with the programs they have in place now so god knows what they get once they go home.

  11. H.C. says:

    I can see where the humor might come from, but yeah — my first thought is that food bank-type charities are often at the mercy of what they can get for free or at a steep discount. Alas, most of the fresher, healthier (and usually, way more perishable) items don’t make it to the shelves.

    • Ferd Berfle says:

      Our church collects groceries each week for the local food bank. I try to purchase something other than the same ol’ mac & cheese or noodle-type products that still can be stored w/o refrigeration, e.g., canned fruit, vegetables, plastic bottles of juice, etc.

    • laura says:

      That is true. Just becuase the news has decided to focus on other items, there are still more families that are food insecure in this country than ever before. The people who used to donate are now clients.
      The dontations are welcomed, and not always the best, but a box of mac and cheese is more filling than a possible healthier alternative.

  12. Bonzy22 says:

    don’t those have like a high sodium content? yeeesh

  13. Ava says:

    I actually feel the need to defend Paula here. My brother just quit his full time job as an engineer and is doing volunteer work for a year in inner city Chicago in the food kitchens.

    He’s said that the types of food people donate are disgusting. Rotten and rancid produce are some of the “common goods” that people drop off for the homeless.

    Are ramen noodles and vienna sausages healthy? No…but they are easy to make. Kids can easily open a can of sausages and get something in their stomach-and ramen noodles only require some hot water. While it would be fantastic to see low sodium products, canned tuna, whole wheat crackers, fresh produce, it’s just not a reality.

    I think it’s great that she took the time out to spend the day handing out stuff to these kids. For all we know it might be the only thing that they had to look forward to. And you never know…maybe she did make a donation or something.

  14. Becky says:

    I have to *choke* say I can’t find much fault here. While donated foods aren’t necessarily healthy or edible, they are shelf stable and provide some form of sustenance. Hell, Ramen noodles kept me alive through college!
    While I’m no Paula fan, all she did here was to donate her time to hand out food rations to the poor. True, I wouldn’t eat that crap, but I’m not poor. If I were poor, and hungry, I’m pretty sure my standards would drop.

  15. Hobbygourmet says:

    Granted: Handing out food… nice. — On the other hand: If I had that much money from all the shilling I would rather burn in hell than handing out f&^%ing Ramen to school kids. What a f&^%ing embarassment.

  16. Barb says:

    Yeah, why the hell is she getting kudos for handing out crap food that other people donated, and getting advertising for her buffet restaurant at the same time? Uh, how about Saturday lunch for all those kids and their families at the buffet?

    Yeah, we have obesity alongside hunger. Obesity rates are highest among the poor, as is hunger obviously. The problem for a lot of people is limited access to healthy food — they have to get what they can at the local convenience store. Education is an issue too, for a lot of folks, who don’t know how to cook and/or don’t have time. How about a bag of plain rice instead of ramen? Brown rice is pretty healthy, only requires water to cook, and can be cooked in the microwave. How about some plain pasta and a can of tomatoes? That’s cheap, healthier than mac and cheese in a box, and might teach poor people how to cook something a little healthier.

    Paula Deen is in a position to be able to educate people how they can cook inexpensive but healthy food (I mean because she’s famous, not because she cooks healthy food.) She could donate it, and hand it out with a microwave recipe. She could really do a lot of good here, it’s really a wasted opportunity.

    I wish someone on the Food Network would do something more than hold freaking bake sales to “end childhood hunger.” Bake sales ain’t gonna cut it, idiots.

    Rant over.

  17. So There says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t read anywhere that she “donated” her time.
    She may have gotten PAID to be there.

  18. coffee-n-toast says:

    No matter how much money she has to donate, it will always go further being spent on ramen noodles than the other foods mentioned. When you get right down to it, it’s about feeding as many kids as you can because the alternative is nothing at all.

    The real problem here is the price of nutritious food. Poor people can only afford the worst quality food that will give them very expensive health problems, and the cycle goes on…

  19. Teague says:

    Paula Deen handing out bad food now there’s a shocker.

  20. Plumpy says:

    “The Paula Deen Buffet at the Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana?” Now that’s funny. And as Bobby Deen always says:

    “There’s nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this.”

  21. bunzilla says:

    White flour, salt and MSG are ingredients Pawler probably consider nutritious…. Just sayin!

  22. bunzilla says:

    …but at the end of the day, if there is a disaster, say the apocalypse or something, ramen noodles stuffed in a backpack could keep a kid from starving to death…

  23. Alexandrite says:

    This woman is pitiful. I didn’t think even HER handlers could sink to the level of naming a buffet at a gambling house after her, but handing out high-fat, high-sodium crap disguised as “food” to needy school kids? And then you bring in the safety factor since the ramen has to be prepared with boiling water–1 burned kid, 1 nasty lawsuit…..

  24. Cynic Onlooker says:

    Good to know that during lunch none of those kids will eat because they’ll all be lined up by the non-existant microwave waiting for 5 minutes each as their ramen cooks in bowls she didn’t pass out.

    Seriously Paula, at least hand out a sandwich or something…

  25. amber says:

    I take issue with the statements that poor folks can’t get or don’t have access to healthy food. Growing up, my family was POOR. There were 4 people in my family (mom and dad, and my little brother and I). My was a maintenance worker at an apartment complex, and my mom cleaned houses to pay the bills. Even as a kid, I knew we were poor. Regardless, my mother always found a way to provide healthy meals. We NEVER ate fast food (which a lot of low income families LIVE off of in my area). Did we eat mac & cheese from time to time? Sure, but it wasn’t the basis of our diet. Frozen spinach costs about a dollar a box. A HUGE bag of brown rice can be purchased for under 5 dollars. Canned tuna? 99 cents a can. A can of tomatoes and a box of whole wheat pasta can make a filling meal for under 4 dollars,
    There are certainly exceptions to this view, but I’m CERTAIN that, even now, my mom would have NO trouble feeding our family with 480.00 a month in food stamps (as a previous poster stated was the average nowadays). I live in a low income area and I see it every day. If the kids in my area are going hungry, it’s because their parents are failing them, and THAT is a goddamn shame.
    I’m not trying to offend ANYONE who is low income. I grew up poor as hell…. But from what I have seen, there are always options. No one’s baby should be going to bed with no food in their stomachs. NOT A SINGLE ONE.

    • coffee-n-toast says:

      I saw a show on this very topic, and the problem is not simply that the nutritious food is too expensive. It’s also that it’s time-consuming to prepare. The family that was featured was very poor, worked MANY hours a day, and simply didn’t have the time to prepare “real” food. Their breakfast was Burger King on the way to work, and the rest was all cheap convenience food made at the end of a very long day.

    • Barb says:

      And that was kind of my point — your mother knew how to make healthy and really inexpensive food. And probably didn’t have a McD’s next door, so had to figure it out. The combination now of availability of cheap fast food, lack of cooking knowledge, and relative lack of availability of healthy food are all contributors to the problem.

      It’s too easy to blame poor people for their “choices” when there’s a lot more going on than personal choice.

    • Brown Sugar says:

      I totally agree that healthy foods can be prepared on a really tight budget; we’re doing it here all the time. But then I grew up in a family that cooks. Lots of people my age (40-ish) were latch-key kids that were raised on microwave or ready-made foods, and they have no idea how to actually prepare a meal. So they eat whatever is cheap and already made, and assume it’s fine for their kids too. It isn’t so much that they’re lazy about it, it’s that it just doesn’t occur to them that they can read recipes and buy ingredients instead of prepared foods. And we’re young enough that we haven’t come down with heart disease, or stomach cancer, or high rates of diabetes yet…but obesity has caught up with us, and our children’s generation is suffering badly from our lack of knowledge. I know cooking and health information is readily available out there, but it seems that a very large part of our population doesn’t think to look for it.

    • Rootietoot says:

      When the parents (or parent) are working 2 or 3 jobs to keep a roof over their heads and pay the bills, they aren’t always around to fix that nutricious meal, and asking a 8 or 9 year old to prepare 2 vegs and brown rice, on a stove they might not have (have you ever made brown rice in a microwave???) isn’t really practical. Yes, in an ideal world, there would be a parent at home to monitor homework and fix a proper meal, but we don’t live in an ideal world. What’s the option? Oh, how about we put all the poor kids in an orphanage, and require adults to pass an income check before they’re allowed to have children!

      • bunny69 says:

        I have to agree with you on the fact that unlike the “old” days when Mom was able to stay home cook, clean & do the other “traditional” chores on the home front, nowadays it takes 2 incomes to make ends meet. This includes grocery shopping in a budget busting economy! Fresh fruits, veggies & produce cost so much more than cheap, pre-processed, pre-packaged foods that no wonder kids are unable to get proper nutrition at home. I try my best to prepare all of our family meals but every once in a blue moon I break down & actually buy fast food (Chinese usually) but try to order the “healthiest” item on the menu…It’s all about moderation & finding the time & money to provide a healthier alternative at home..

    • al dente this says:

      AMEN, Amber! I’ve been there too and there is NO REASON for a child in this country to go to bed hungry! So many people want to demonize this fact and I don’t understand the animosity. It IS the caregiver’s ultimate RESPONSIBILITY!

  26. Mark says:

    I LOVE Ramen noodles.

  27. jmsiv says:

    Here’s your Ramen and a pack of Winstons. Move along now.

  28. Xploder says:

    Ah, come on now. I started eating Ramen out in the desert during Desert Storm because after eating MRE’s twice a day, EVERY day, for two months straight, I just had to try something different.

    Ya know what? They really aren’t all that bad comparatively speaking. Of course, compared to an MRE, mud pies are probably an improvement.

    • Hobbygourmet says:

      I ate MREs as well. Sure, Ramen are a welcome change (IMO not an improvement). We’re talking about small children here. How are they supposed to cook those? Heck, packaged peanut butter crackers would have been a better choice. Cups of apple sauce. Fruit cups. Anything! … That old skank is a disgrace to anybody standing in the kitchen cooking!

  29. Cathy says:

    This happened over a year ago when her buffet opened in Indiana. Why is it an issue now?

  30. sarsbar says:

    Potted meat, ramen, granola bars that are more candy than anything genuinely nutritious–those kids are on the fast track to being full but malnourished. This is the lowest common denominator of charity; they might as well be ladling out servings of boiled shoe leather!

  31. Brittany says:

    Interesting that this happened directly behind my house, I probably could have looked out my kitchen window and witnessed it, yet this is the first I’m hearing about it. Never heard anything on the news, didn’t see it in the paper. Didn’t even see any signs around the school or anything.

  32. Bludog says:

    You all are a bunch of IDIOTS. These kids have NO f’in food to eat on weekends. You pick empty stomach over ramen. Who gives a damn hi much salt is in it. Get a life.

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