In a town full of food fundraisers, one of the standout events is Market at the Food Bank. I say this because the event takes place right inside the massive distribution center at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, a most effective way to illustrate the grand scale of their mission for the 1,000 guests in attendance.
The benefit will be held on Sunday, April 29, from 6-8:30 p.m. and it closes the annual Harvest for Hunger campaign, a 21-county food and funds drive, presented by PNC Bank – Cleveland and the Cleveland Indians, and supported by many of our favorite grocery stores. The 2018 campaign aims to raise enough money to provide 22 million meals.
As a member of the marketing committee for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, I am especially in awe of the nearly 50 restaurants and food and beverage purveyors who demonstrate such generosity by contributing to an event of this size—on a Sunday evening no less. As a food writer, I have the pleasure of attending many events, but my favorites are the ones that bring the culinary community together to rally around a cause.
There are too many restaurants and contributors to name here, but participants include The Zack Bruell Restaurant Group, Edwin’s, Pearl of the Orient, Geraci’s, Strip Steakhouse, Sodexo – University Hospitals, Saucisson, Pope’s Kitchen, Orlando Baking Company, Mitchell’s Homemade, and Green City Growers. Wine, beer, and other beverages are donated by local distributors. A wine pull and a silent auction provide additional avenues for guests to donate.
Guests enjoy sampling and grazing through much of the cavernous 128,000 square-foot structure with ample opportunities to learn more about the work that’s done there. According to the Food Bank’s data, 1 in 6 people in our area is food insecure—meaning that they don’t know where the next meal will come from—and 1 in 5 children are at risk for going hungry. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank provided 55 million nutritious meals in 2017 through its services in six counties, including 800 food pantries, shelters, mobile pantries and other nonprofit agencies, and programs such as SNAP.
This year’s Harvest for Hunger campaign materials reminded us that many people in our community make tough choices every day, having to decide whether to turn on the heat, have a car repaired, or fill a prescription, or to put food on the table instead.
Think about having to make such a choice. If you donated to the Harvest for Hunger campaign via Check Out Hunger at the register, in a workplace food drive or other method, I thank you. If you enjoy Cleveland’s restaurant scene, I invite you to grab a ticket to Market at the Food Bank, knowing you will be helping people in your community who, right now, don’t know where their next meal will come from. Check out the event and buy tickets here.