ORLANDO'S TASTE OF THE NATION FOR NO KID HUNGRY ELEVATES CHILDHOOD HUNGER RELIEF BY RAISING $279,487 DURING ITS 27TH EVENT
ORLANDO, FLA. (September 9, 2016) – Orlando's Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry celebrated its 27th year by raising $279,487 to help ensure children struggling with hunger in our city and across America are connected to the meals they need this coming year.
Forty-four of the area’s most distinguished chefs along with nearly two dozen craft brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors came together at the Orlando World Center Marriott on Aug. 27 to serve sips and samples to a record attendance of more than 3,000 guests.
This annual celebration of the community’s culinary excellence supports the childhood feeding programs of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, statewide organization Florida Impact, and national beneficiary Share Our Strength.
Guests enjoyed live music provided by DJ Jeff Townsend and an exciting silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.
The event’s popular Instant Wine Cellar game awarded more than 150 bottles of wine valued at more than $2,500 to the person who purchased the winning key that opened the locked wine door.
The Giving Tree, sponsored by Edible Orlando, returned for the second year rewarding 100 lucky participants with a taste of Orlando’s most popular dining and drinking establishments. For a $50 donation, each participant walked away with a gift certificate ranging from $25 to $300 in value.
The all-new Ring Toss for Wine fundraiser was met with enthusiasm by hundreds of guests who tried their luck at winning fine bottles of wine by landing rings around the neck of a wine bottle. Rings were available for $5 for two tosses or $15 for five tosses.
A flash mob ─ involving 50 people dancing in sync around the center of the ballroom following the evening’s opening announcements ─ made a flashy impression on guests and brought some special energy to this year’s event.
For the first time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation introduced the Golden Ticket Giveaway, offering an exciting way to win a pair of complimentary Taste of the Nation tickets. Guests who dined at 23 participating establishments during the month of August had a 1 in 10 chance of winning two free tickets just by asking their server for a Golden Ticket. The contest encouraged guests to patronize participating Taste of the Nation restaurants and beverage venues while generating social media awareness for this year’s event. Seven guests discovered a Golden Ticket while dining at these locations during the 22-day contest.
One of the region’s longest-running food and beverage fundraising events, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is a volunteer-driven event organized each year by an all-volunteer steering committee representing a variety of local businesses and organizations, supported by more than 300 day-of event volunteers, and made possible by the in-kind support of a variety of local business partners.
“Our volunteer model allows us to direct almost every dollar of funds raised to our beneficiaries and generates profound awareness and relief for the children of Central Florida who face hunger on a daily basis,” said Michele Byington, co-chair for Orlando’s Taste of the Nation event. “This simply would not be possible without all the volunteer support we receive for planning, coordination, logistics and donation solicitation.”
The funds raised by Orlando’s Taste of the Nation will help Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provide shelter and services to more than 150 children and their families each night and serve more than 250,000 nutritious meals in the coming year.
“For nearly three decades, this incredible event has directly supported the childhood nutrition program at the Coalition,” said Brent Trotter, President/CEO of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. “Because of the passionate committee, sponsors, chefs, donors and attendees who’ve made it their mission to end childhood hunger, more than 150 kids at the Coalition start each day with a wholesome breakfast and end each day with a nutritious dinner without worrying about where their next meal will come from.”
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will direct the funds raised from the event to childhood hunger relief programs at their agency to assist the 1 in 3 kids in Orlando who will struggle with hunger this coming year.
“Taste of the Nation funds make it possible for our organization to continue to close the gap on childhood hunger in Central Florida, which unfortunately remains far too wide at this time,” said Dave Krepcho, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “We’re so pleased to be able to multiply this support into more food, for more kids, than at any other time in our history.”
Orlando’s Taste of the Nation was presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored by OpenTable, San Pell/Acqua Panna and media sponsor Food Network. Special thanks to local sponsors Darden Restaurants, Regions Bank, Harris Rosen Foundation, Spotlight, Noble Marketing, Disney, FreshPoint, Hilton Grand Vacations, Bright House, Darden Federal Credit Union, Ernst & Young, Patriot National, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Universal Orlando Resort, Quality 1 and Amerifactors. For our complete list of sponsors, please visit NoKidHungry.org/Orlando.
We also recognize the generous support of Orlando World Center Marriott who has donated the event space for the last seven years, Progressive Communications who has donated their printing services for the last 15 years, Day Entertainment & Events, Accent Entertainment Photo Booth, Airstar Space Lighting, Peyton Entertainment, Gifn Photo Booth, Clear Channel Outdoor, CBS Radio/MIX 105.1 and 1059 SUNNY FM, and WFTV 9 Family Connection.
Special thanks to Eola Wine Company, Blue Martini Pointe Orlando, The Ancient Olive and The Spice & Tea Exchange for their fundraising efforts leading up to our main event. Each served up tasty starter events to whet the community’s appetite for Orlando’s Taste of the Nation while raising funds for national beneficiary Share Our Strength and local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
AREA CHEFS INVITE GUESTS TO TAKE A BITE OUT OF CHILDHOOD HUNGER AT ORLANDO’S TASTE OF THE NATION FOR NO KID HUNGRY
ORLANDO, FLA. (August 4, 2016) – Central Florida’s most distinguished chefs will join forces August 27, 2016 to help fight the nation’s childhood hunger epidemic at Orlando's Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry. Forty-five of the area’s most accomplished chefs will showcase tasting portions of signature dishes, accompanied by fine wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails at the Orlando World Center Marriott to ensure children struggling with hunger in our city and across America are connected to the meals they need.
New to this year’s event are 10 of the area’s most popular and exciting restaurants including Benihana, Canvas Lake Nona, Eleven and Forte at Reunion Resort, Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, Nova Scratch Kitchen, The Osprey Tavern, Restaurant ASH, STK and The Rusty Spoon.
Several popular brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors have also been tapped for this year’s event, including Brew Bus USA, Cigar City Brewing, Crooked Can Brewery, Orlando Brewery, Red Light, Red Light Beer Parlour, Small Town Brewery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Lakeridge Winery, Nestle Waters | S. Pell & Acqua Panna, Onli Beverage Co., Funky Monkey, Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey and Tito's Vodka.
In its 27th year, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is the region’s longest-running and most trend-forward food and beverage event raising funds and awareness for children’s nutrition programs provided by national beneficiary Share Our Strength, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
In addition to appetizing food, fine wines, craft beers and premium spirits, guests also enjoy a fully automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.
The Giving Tree raffle, sponsored by Edible Orlando, returns for the second year inviting guests to win a taste of Orlando’s most popular establishments. For a $50 donation, guests can select a Giving Tree envelope hanging from a towering tree containing a gift certificate ranging from $25 to $300 in value. The event’s ever-popular Instant Wine Cellar game offers participants a chance to win more than 150 bottles of wine valued at more than $2,500. There are only 250 chances to win this exquisite wine cellar. Each key is a $25 donation.
Guests can also win fine bottles of wine with the all-new Ring Toss for Wine fundraiser. Rings are available for purchase to toss onto wine bottles ─$5 for two tosses or $10 for six tosses. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins a bottle of wine to take home.
A handful of students from The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program will be at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation this year to lend the cooking skills they have mastered in Second Harvest’s 14-week program designed to provide qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
“For our culinary students to be able to work alongside Orlando’s top chefs at Taste of the Nation is a one-of-a-kind experience and learning opportunity that we cannot teach in the classroom,” said Chef Israel Santiago, head training chef at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
For a limited time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is offering a special promotion on tickets to this year’s event. Buy 1 ticket, get 50% off the 2nd ticket using the code LASTCHANCE. To purchase tickets, visit NoKidHungry.org/Orlando.
Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is offering several fundraising experiences to sip and nibble on before the main event.
Eola Wine Company welcomes guests to raise a glass to end childhood hunger with a series of weekly wine tasting events on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. from now through Aug. 24. For a $15 donation at the door, guests will receive free tastings of select wines. Offering fine varietals by the glass, flight and bottle, plus light fare, Eola Wine Company is located in downtown Orlando at 430 E. Central Blvd., Orlando.
The Ancient Olive is fighting childhood hunger with olive oil by donating $1 for each bottle of ultrapremium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, and flavor-infused olive oils sold between now and August 31. The tasting bar for premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars is located at 324 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. The Spice & Tea Exchange, located at 309 Park Ave., North, Winter Park, will donate $1 for each gourmet spice blend grinder sold.
Proceeds from these three events benefit Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger, which includes local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
For the first time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation introduces the Golden Ticket Giveaway, offering an exciting new way to win a pair of complimentary tickets to this year’s event. Guests who dine at select, participating establishments can ask their server for a Golden Ticket to receive a concealed envelope that may contain a pair of tickets to this year’s event. Chances of winning are 1 in 10. Follow hashtags #OrlTaste and #GoldenTicket for a list of participating restaurants and updates on remaining
Golden Tickets. The Golden Ticket Giveaway runs from Aug. 1 - 22.
Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored by OpenTable, San Pell/Acqua Panna and media sponsor Food Network. Special thanks to local sponsors Darden Restaurants, Regions Bank, Harris Rosen Foundation, Spotlight, Noble Marketing, Disney, FreshPoint, Hilton Grand Vacations, Bright House, Darden Federal Credit Union, Ernst & Young, Patriot National, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Universal Orlando Resort, Quality 1 and Amerifactors.