Vij is donating all of her author's proceeds to an NGO, No Kid Hungry. For every $1 donated, No Kid Hungry serves 10 meals.
As a child, Sahana Vij learned to cook and help those in need. Her mom taught her to make French toast, soup, and enchiladas, and together they volunteered at a Seattle shelter, serving food to families. "Food is a major, big, important way to communicate with people," Vij, a now 20-year-old studying at the University of California, Irvine, told PEOPLE. "Food helps connect us." As a child who grew up in Redmond, Washington, Vij learned to bake, trying new recipes every week. "I'd always make it for other people," she said. "My way of communicating with other people was through food."
In high school, she finally wrote her cookbook, "Bake Away." Vij is donating all of her author's proceeds to an NGO, No Kid Hungry. For every $1 donated, No Kid Hungry serves 10 meals. "You need to eat," she says. "You need to eat breakfast, you need to eat lunch, you need to fuel your body, especially while you're learning." After her first printing runs out, Vij hopes to help provide 700,000 meals. "As many as possible," Sahana said. "It feels like a necessity to me."
Although first-year student Sahana Vij plans to major in @UCIEnglish's Literary Journalism Program, she's already a published author. "Bake Away" features 20 of her recipes & supports @nokidhungry. Read why she chose @UCIrvine: https://t.co/j18YEJ88D7 #Entrepreneur #NewBook pic.twitter.com/ZXysnMRLOj— UCI Humanities (@UCIHumanities) December 1, 2021
Vij also revealed to Sweet July, “I actually was born in the Bay Area,” says Vij. “My dad would take me back to San Francisco a lot just to see the area. I remember I went with my dad and one of our friends to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory and I was freaking out because it’s just all chocolate. We ended up ordering a banana split—there are photos of me with the bananas all over my face because it was so good. And so with the churro bowls, I just thought it would be a really cool twist.”
On Father's Day, she took her book to Thomas Keller, the chef at The French Laundry. She has added his comment on the book on her website, "This young baker gives me hope for the future."
On the latest episode of Add Passion and Stir are two of the youngest #NoKidHungry Bake-A-Thon participants; Sahana Vij and Michael C. Platt. 🍪— No Kid Hungry (@nokidhungry) November 17, 2022
Listen as they discuss their love for baking, and they want to raise awareness to help end childhood hunger. https://t.co/WUNOA6QPqT pic.twitter.com/Gp7DU2RAMF
Vij wants to make the world a better place by providing meals to people. Vij is now at the University of California, Irvine majoring in journalism and minoring in global sustainability. “Growing up, my mom took me to a local women's and children’s shelter, where we would serve enchiladas and dine with them,” she says. “So I really wanted to continue working with the community through this project.” According to Sweet July, Vij said about her cookbook, "The individuality in the things we create is what makes them so special and so unique,” whose ultimate goal is to open up her own bakery. “I think food just connects people on a much deeper level.”
@nokidhungry my Bake Away cookbook by Sahana Vij arrived today. It’s beautiful with what looks like some amazing recipes. I probably would not have been inspired to buy it if I had not seen an interview with the author saying all proceeds support #NoKidHungry so thank you pic.twitter.com/BqpeeaMHMp— Ygritte (@YgritteVt) November 4, 2021
After college, she plans to get an MBA and then fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. She further plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to No Kid Hungry. "I want to be able to make an impact on the world," she said. "I hope that I can inspire others to keep creating, and I hope I can continue to bake and share what I've made with other people."
Vij's story is truly inspiring and heart-warming and it tells us we can make an impact at any age!