Flower: Tell us about your latest book project, Home: A Celebration.
Charlotte Moss: HOME represents the voices of 125 artists, poets, writers, editors, designers, and philanthropists. Each person shared the meaning of home through the lens of their craft. Together, their creative contributions support a greater cause: raising money to help feed children in our country through No Kid Hungry.
Where did you get the idea to create a fundraiser like this?
I’ve joked that the Edith Wharton book, The Book of the Homeless, has been “vibrating” on my bookshelf for a while. I have always thought it would be a great vehicle for a fundraiser. When Covid hit and the news was covering the number of food lines and how long they were, as well as how unemployment was rapidly rising and school closures meant some children would not get the nourishment of a day’s meal, I knew it was the right time. Never in my lifetime have we experienced what we have been going through.
I remember sitting with my husband and telling him about my idea to clone Edith Wharton’s concept by reaching out to others to create a book. He responded, “If you feel like you need to do it, then you must do it.” And the next morning I started making calls. My amazing publisher, Rizzoli, was one of the first calls, and they were 100 percent on board.
How did you decide to partner with No Kid Hungry?
Early on in the pandemic, I saw a statistic that one in six children in the United States is food insecure. Repeat that to yourself. One in six! That is a staggering statistic! It moved me to do two Instagram challenges, and we quickly raised $150,000. I thought, if we could raise that much money on Instagram, what could we really do if we launched a campaign?
I started reading more about No Kid Hungry. The more I learned about their community engagement around the country, the more I was moved to help. What appealed to me is how they reach so many communities by working with local organizations. It is a vast network of engagement. They were enthusiastic about the idea and have been a partner throughout the entire project.
What did you learn in the process about HOME and the contributors?
Seeing HOME through everyone else’s eyes, their personal and often poignant interpretations, really struck me. There was such diversity in the contributions—some humorous, some anecdotal.
What was the greatest joy in the process?
Getting 125 people to say YES! This was a call to action, and everyone answered with such enthusiasm. I think that’s really what got this project done in the end. We were greeted with such optimism at every turn, and I think it shows in the pages of this book. The parent organization of No Kid Hungry is Share Our Strength—and that, in fact, is what everyone did. They shared their strengths, their visions, their soul.
To donate to No Kid Hungry, visit nokidhungry.org
Photography and art from HOME: A Celebration, edited by Charlotte Moss (Rizzoli, 2021), republished with permission.