Did you know that 1 in 9 Americans do not have access to fresh produce? Subway, Feeding America, and Nick Lachey have come together to raise awareness and money for an issue affecting millions of people around the United States through Subway’s Ugly Veggie Rescue. I got the chance to sit down with Nick Lachey and to get an inside scoop about all of the details regarding this Ugly Veggie Rescue, what you can do now to help combat food insecurity, and how you too can meet him in real life. Keep reading because they definitely need our help!

Melissa Vajanaphanich

Subway is partnering with Feeding America to help get fresh produce to families in need through the Ugly Veggie Rescue campaign. From now through October 18, 2019 we can all donate as little as a dollar to adopt one of 13 ugly - but kind of adorable - vegetables. For each donation made, Subway will match each donation through October 18.

But get this, there is also an Ugly Veggie Rescue sweepstakes happening where you can win a trip for two to Los Angeles, CA to hang out with Nick Lachey and to volunteer at a food bank together. You might recognize Nick Lachey for his killer dancer moves or his popular musical hits but you may not realize that he has also been a long time partner for Feeding America.

Melissa Vajanaphanich

What sparked your interest in food insecurity?

"I'm from Cincinnati, Ohio which is one of the leading cities that is affected by food insecurity. I know first hand people who don't have access to food or fresh produce so I wanted to find a way to help.

What Subway, Feeding America, and I are all trying to do is to change perspectives that as we move forward, we shouldn't be wasting food when there are so many people in need. People don't eat enough vegetables as it is so the Ugly Veggie Rescue is a really great opportunity to help combat these issues."

Melissa Vajanaphanich

What is your favorite Subway Sandwich?

"Definitely the Subway Steak and Cheese sandwich - fully loaded of course. Sometimes I will drift towards the Subway meatball sub but my go to is always the steak and cheese."

What is your go to dish for repurposing ugly vegetables and what is your favorite vegetable?

"Goulash - that would definitely be my go to. However, in terms of my favorite vegetable, I love brussels sprouts. I have definitely been ahead of the curve and perhaps even a bit of trailblazer for these veggies. Even as a kid, I used to request them as part of my birthday dinner."

Melissa Vajanaphanich

What are you up to now in terms of your career?

"I am on tour with my band, 98 degrees, right now but I also just finished wrapping up hosting the first season of a new Nickelodeon show called America's Most Musical Family that will premiere on November 1. It is a reality show competition where you try to find the most musical family."

What advice would you have for college students who are about to start their young professional lives?

"I believe [success is] a combination of persistence, perseverance, and hard work. There is no substitute for hard work as you have to outwork the guy next in order to truly make your mark. For me and 98 degrees, there have been more talented people but we wouldn't take no for an answer until we finally got the opportunity to have our debut."

Melissa Vajanaphanich

What has been your most meaningful experience working with food insecurity?

"A couple of years ago, I was part of a winit.com campaign where I got to tour the country and to volunteer at 12 to 15 food banks packing after school lunches. It was a brilliant opportunity to really understand and to appreciate all of the need that exists out there in the United States."

So what are we all waiting for Spooniverse? Let's join Nick Lachey, Feeding America, and Subway on this journey to raise awareness about and to combat the issue of food insecurity that are affecting so many Americans. Hop on over to the Ugly Veggie Rescue to adopt your own Ugly Vegetable right now before October 18. [Nick's favorite is Ava the Avocado.]