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A local organization seeks "Food for Everyone"

BY CLAIRE DIETZ | OCTOBER 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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After 18 years supporting local families and farmers, Local Foods Connection hopes to draw the public eye to its organization.

Local Foods Connection is a local nonprofit organization focused on providing low-income families and people with physical or mental disabilities with food from local farmers from around the state.

The group’s first “Food for Everyone” fundraiser will be held today at 6 p.m. at Trumpet Blossom Café — a local vegetarian and vegan restaurant, 310 E. Prentiss St. — and will include a freshly prepared meal, performances by the Dandelion Stompers, and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 or $150 for a group of four. 

Executive Director Melissa Dunham emphasized the importance of having high attendance at the event.

“The mission of Local Food Connections is to raise funds for our 2015 season, so we can buy food for individuals and families,” she said. “The goal is to let people know that Local Foods Connection is out there, and we promise an organization that helps local farmers and local low-income individuals. It’s about raising funds for our organization.”

Assistant to the executive director Cassidy Bell agreed the event's main goal is to create exposure for Local Foods Connection.

“We’ve been running since 1996, and this is the first time we have ever done a fundraising event,” Bell said. “… We’re trying to change our direction and get more community support in that we’ve been working with the Co-op [New Pioneer] a lot, and it has been really helpful over the years, but we are trying to reach out to people a little more directly with this event.”

Local Foods Connection representatives said they plan on using the majority of the funds raised at "Food for Everyone" to buy community-supported agriculture shares for the families and individuals it benefits. These shares support local farmers, who in turn deliver a portion of their crops to the doors of shareholders.

“We also try to provide our clients with cookbooks at the beginning of the season,” Bell said. “We sometimes purchase kitchen equipment, and we allow them to do activities like plant a garden, or read a book about food, take a cooking class, watch a cooking documentary, and this earns them points to purchase kitchen equipment from us such as pots and pans and cutting boards to better allow them to utilize the raw vegetables they get from the market.”

Guests at the “Food for Everyone” will not only be served a fresh meal, they will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items, including a full-hour massage, gift certificates, a Farmers’ Market package, and 2015 community-supported agriculture shares worth up to $585.

Tickets are available online at localfoodsconnection.com.


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