I love learning about different cultures and Peas for Prosperity introduced me to a Southern (American) tradition that I didn’t know existed. On NewYear’s Day, for good luck and prosperity throughout the coming year, Southerners eat black-eyed peas because they look like coins and swell up when cooked, symbolizing prosperity. Typically, collard greens representing money and cornbread, which represents gold, are served alongside the peas.
Peas for Prosperity, founded by Christy Annis, was inspired by the concept of second chances. Through a serendipitous meeting with famed chef Emeril Lagasse, where she learned of how the New Orleans chef was giving kids a second chance, after Hurricane Katrina, by creating a program teaching them to create hot sauce – from harvesting, making, packaging and selling, and picking up vital business skills along the way, the seed for her project was planted.
Christy, herself, after leaving Corporate America and choosing not to return, was getting a second chance to do what she wanted, giving back and making positive contributions in her own community. Inspired by Emeril’s program, she started Peas for Prosperity to give others in need a second chance too!
Along with donating partial proceeds of sales to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Christy created the Peas to Paychecks program, which collaborates with Atlanta organizations to employ those disadvantaged for product packing, production and assembly. Christy also started the Holiday Pea Sales Program which gives those hit by tough economic times to earn extra income during the holidays by selling peas.
Although their online peas store is closed for maintenance, you can check out some delicious sounding recipes involving black-eyed peas here.
Thank you Peas for Prosperity for making our world wonderful.
LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: What is a New Year’s Day tradition in your community?