Story and Photography by: Kristina Wright
Feeding the Gulf Coast hosted their second Florida Chef Challenge, titled “A Challenge to End Hunger” on Thursday, September 13, at Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones Resource Center. This event is Feeding the Gulf Coast’s fundraiser that brings together some of the area’s most celebrated chefs for an evening of incredible food and drink, and live music from Romano Street in the name of ending hunger. Proceeds from the inaugural Florida Chef Challenge in 2017 helped provide 80,000 meals to neighbors. Local chefs from the Florida Panhandle battled for their chance to win in several categories including Best Appetizer, Best Entrée, and Best Dessert. One lucky participant won the People’s Choice Award for having the best dish of the night.
One in six people in our area struggles with hunger, including one in four children. Feeding the Gulf Coast works through member organizations and special programs to provide nutritious food to meet the challenge of feeding people who are hungry as a result of personal crisis or disaster. All proceeds from the Florida Chef Challenge will be used to support hunger-relief programs and provide meals to those in need throughout the seven-county Florida service area.
Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly Bay Area Food Bank, serves a 24-county area spanning the Panhandle of Florida, South Alabama, and South Mississippi. In 2017, the food bank distributed over 19 million meals to over 400 church pantries, soup kitchens and other nonprofit organizations throughout its service area. The food bank also operates multiple nutrition programs, including Summer Meals, Afterschool Meal, Backpack, Disaster Relief, Community Garden, Mobile Pantry, Produce Drop, Cooking Matters, and SNAP Outreach. Feeding the Gulf Coast is a United Way member agency and a member of Feeding America.