Explore the West Side Market After Dark at New Fundraiser

A new fundraiser to support Hunger Network Food Rescue will take place on the evening of October 24 in the iconic West Side Market.  Market After Dark will gather more than 30 local restaurants and market vendors for a grazing-style tasting event, music, and experiences at the landmark in Ohio City.

Organizers intend to use the food-focused event to highlight the importance of capturing viable food destined for the landfill, and redirect the food to people who need it. Jennifer Scofield, Hunger Network CEO, sees this event as a new opportunity to inform people about the 40-year-old organization and its Hunger Network Food Rescue program. “We’re grateful to build new relationships and increase community engagement through events like Market After Dark.  These opportunities aim to make it easy for everyone to take part in ending hunger.”

The Hunger Network distributes food at 72 hunger centers and and partners with nonprofits including head start centers, homeless shelters, Neighborhood Family Practice locations and more. Rescued food often includes perishables—fruits, vegetables, and breads—important parts of a well-rounded diet that can be harder to acquire. More than 200,000 pounds of food have been rescued and allocated to people in need. An important side benefit is a savings of 110,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions that will not go into the environment.

An app allows a team of responsive volunteers who are known as “food rescue heroes” to be notified when food becomes available. Food is picked up and distributed quickly—sometimes in less than an hour.

A full list of participating restaurants can be found online, but some notable names from the restaurant and West Side Market vendor community include Great Lakes Brewing Company, The Burnham Restaurant, West Side Market Cafe, Crepes de Luxe, Astoria Cafe & Market, Momocho, Ryan’s Bratwurst, City Roast Coffee And Tea, Collision Bend Brewing Company, Kate’s Fish, Pearl Flower Catering, Le Petit Triangle Cafe, Mabel’s BBQ, Southside, Debonné Vineyards, Fat Head’s Brewery, Platform Beer Co., Bookhouse Brewing and CLE Urban Winery.

The event will include demos and interactive stations by Matt Fish of Melt Bar and Grilled, Eric Wells of Skye LaRae’s Culinary Services, Terry Thomsen of Feel Good Dough, and Ann LoParo of Annie’s Signature Sweets.

Keeping waste to a minimum was also a goal, explains Hannah Westfall, marketing and communications coordinator. “With the help of local partners committed to promoting environmental sustainability, we are striving to make Market After Dark a zero-waste event. There will be waste stations at the event designated for compostable and recyclable items in an effort to lessen our impact on the environment.”

Joshen Paper and Packaging will provide compostable flatware to avoid sending single-use paper and plastic items like plates, bowls, spoons, and forks to a landfill. Rust Belt Riders will provide composting services to ensure Market After Dark leaves a positive impact on the environment. Their team will also offer educational information for those interested in composting and diverting food from landfills.  Sustainable Cleveland and Zero Waste NEO are providing additional receptacles and volunteers to ensure smooth logistics in making this event zero waste.

Sponsors of the inaugural event include Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors, Pilot Flying J, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Key Bank, Burnham Restaurant-Hilton Cleveland, and Vitamix. Edible Cleveland is the presenting media sponsor. Market After Dark is supported by the City of Cleveland.

The event will run 5:30pm–9:30pm. Save $10 per ticket using the promo code EDIBLECLE-MAD. Tickets and information are available here.

–Lisa Sands