JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ready. Set. FOODFIGHT!
Fine food and spirits will abound – along with a festive battle for best culinary presentation – on Thursday, June 10, when the 20th Annual Jacksonville FOODFIGHT™ takes place at the Touchdown Club East in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
This year's event will bring together more than 50 of the First Coast's finest restaurants, caterers and beverage wholesalers for a friendly competition where partygoers prove to be the biggest winners. The event has raised nearly $1 million to help fight hunger in Jacksonville over the last 19 years and hopes to raise at least $85,000 this year - with all proceeds benefiting Second Harvest North Florida.
"Doing a good thing and having a good time is truly the theme of this great event," said Eddie Fink, chairman of the FOODFIGHT committee, which coordinates the event. "That goes for all who participate – vendors, volunteers and guests. The restaurants and beverage distributors do an incredible job knowing that 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go to Second Harvest to aid in the fight against hunger and food insecurity in our community."
Tickets for the event are $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP access, both of which include tastes of delightful dishes prepared by the top restaurant chefs in the city, along with numerous beverages and live entertainment. The VIP admission entitles partygoers to a private VIP reception with special food and drinks from 6-6:30 p.m. in a private seating area that is available throughout the event.
One change to the format of this year’s event is the addition of a unique raffle that will feature two dynamic prizes – a new 2010 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide motorcycle, provided by Adamec Harley-Davidson, and two club level season tickets to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tickets for the raffle will be $100, and only 400 tickets will be sold. In addition, a silent auction will be held featuring an array of exciting items.
Fink said the event is the party of the year in Jacksonville – but most importantly it is a party for a great cause.
Second Harvest has already provided 2.92 million meals through four months in 2010 – 950,000 more meals than at this time a year ago. Demand for resources from Second Harvest increased by more than 56 percent in the last two years, and that increase has not slowed in 2010, according to Second Harvest Executive Director Thomas Mantz.
“People are reaching out for help," Mantz said. "We are answering the call for many of those individuals and families, but it is a challenge that grows each day. There are people in our community who are hurting – specifically children – and our role is to make sure they have the food resources they need to survive, get back on their feet and move past these hard times. “
Food distribution at Second Harvest has steadily risen in recent years, from 6.62 million pounds in 2007, to 7.65 million in 2008, to 10.3 million in 2009 and a projected 12.5 million pounds in 2010.
For every $1 donated, Second Harvest is able to generate six meals for people in need. If the FOODFIGHT achieves its goal of $85,000 it will allow the Food Bank to supply more than 510,000 meals for its clients!
The Jacksonville FOODFIGHT is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Second Harvest North Florida.
To order tickets or purchase sponsorship packages, visit www.JacksonvilleFOODFIGHT.org or call 904.739.7074.
About Second Harvest North Florida
Second Harvest North Florida is the oldest and largest program of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. LSS was founded in 1979 by area Lutherans and business leaders to fill gaps in services offered in the community for people in need. Second Harvest gathers food from local and national sources, shares these resources with more than 500 nonprofit organizations in 18 north Florida counties and helps thousands of people each year who are hungry or at risk of not having being able to provide food for themselves and their families. In addition to collecting and distributing food, Second Harvest serves children in after-school programs through its Kids Cafe and BackPack programs and in summer camps through its Summer Lunch program. It also takes Mobile Pantries filled with Family Boxes of food to people living in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. Call 904.730.8234 for more information about any of these programs and services.