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Host a What If Dinner

For over 14 years, the What If? Foundation has been providing life-saving meals to some of the hungriest children in the world.  An average of 1,200 hot, nutritious meals are currently being served at the food program each weekday.  Children are served first, then adults.  As always, the meals are served with love and respect.  We invite you to help us raise funds to pay for these meals by hosting a What If dinner.  Full bowls, full bellies, full hearts

The concept if simple:

Invite family and friends to come share a meal.

Make it a potluck, or cook up a simple, delicious Haitian dinner of rice, beans and vegetables, similar to the meals served at the food program. (We’ve included one recipe from Haiti at the bottom of this page.) If the gathering includes children, you could invite children to be served first, then adults, as they do at the food program!

Start the evening off by sharing information about What If. You might want to show your guests the food program video, which is on the Video & Podcasts page of our website. (Contact the What If office if  you want a copy of it mailed to you on a DVD.) Or, create your own slideshow, using photos from our gallery. (Click slideshow on the Gallery page.) Or you could read an excerpt from Margaret’s book, or just share from your heart why you support the What If? Foundation.

One group that created a dinner to raise funds for What If told us that they invited guests to pick tickets when they arrived that assigned them to receive meals corresponding to different income levels. Some ended up sitting on the floor with a small bowl of rice and a glass of water; others sat at a table with a small plate of rice and beans; others were invited to sit at a table with a filling meal. After the meal, they led a discussion in which guests shared their experiences eating and also talked about the reality of hunger around the world and the different ways people can help alleviate it.

However you organize your dinner, please give a What If brochure to your guests and invite them to make a donation. Every donation, big or small, makes a difference!

One other idea: If you can’t host a gathering at your house, what if you created a gathering with your co-workers? Everyone at your office could plan to pack lunches from home and eat together one day.  After telling them about What If?’s work in Haiti, you could invite everyone to donate the equivalent of what they would have spent on eating out, and see if your employer will match all their donations. The possibilities are endless!

We hope you will consider hosting a What If dinner.  Thank you for your support.


Here is one recipe you can try if you want to create a Haitian meal:


  • 1 (8 ounce) package dry kidney beans                  •  4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bulb shallot, minced                                               •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice                   •  2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning (optional)               •  1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste                      • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley                                                 •  3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 scotch bonnet chile pepper


  1. Place beans in a large pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute shallot and garlic until fragrant. Stir in cooked beans, and cook for 2 minutes. Measure reserved liquid, and add water to equal 5 cups; stir into skillet. Stir in the uncooked rice. Season with bay leaves, adobo seasoning, salt, pepper, and cloves. Place sprigs of parsley and thyme, and scotch bonnet pepper on top, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove thyme, parsley, and scotch bonnet pepper to serve.