A Successful 27th Year at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation

thank-you-2016On August 27th, 2016, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry celebrated it’s 27th year by raising a whopping $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 – but they didn’t do it alone.

Forty-four of the area’s most distinguished chefs along with nearly two dozen craft brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors came together that night at the Orlando World Center Marriott  to serve sips and samples to a record attendance of more than 3,000 guests.

One of the region’s longestrunning 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.

taste-2016-53“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.”img_0729

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, and we could not be more thankful for what these kinds of partnerships do for local kids in need.

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.taste-2016-122

“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 4 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.”

rachel-v-photography_taste-of-the-nation-8-27-16-19 rachel-v-photography_taste-of-the-nation-8-27-16-47

A huge thank you to everyone who had a hand in making the 27th Annual Orlando’s Taste of the Nation such a success! You should be proud of what you were able to accomplish this year, and be proud that you helped to raise nearly $280,000 for children in need. Thank you.


Melissa Kear
Online Marketing Coordinator

Check out some of the other amazing photos from that night below!

2016 Orlando's Taste of the Nation

About Our Event Sponsors and Partners:

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.

And finally, to our Social Media Ambassadors. Thank you for your time, talent, and continuous dedication to hunger awareness in our community! Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps, Jen Vargas of Central Florida Top 5, Lauren Yochum of Spork Orlando, Jason Mayhew of Orlando Fun and Food, Rashmi Primlani of The Primlani Kitchen, Lisa Wilk of Taste Cook Sip, Amanda Tinney of Where’s Amanda, Irina Pabis of Celebrity Chefs 4 U, Kelly Green of SeaWorld Mommy, Ashley Coggin of A Cup of Charming, Michelle Snow of CitySurfing Orlando, Kelli Matheny of A Lady Crafter, Tim Justynski of ShareOrlando, Meghan Roth of Meghan on the Move, Ken Storey of Orlando Tourism Report, and Andi Perez of Orlando Yelp!. Also, a huge thank you to our amazingly talented photographers who donated their time and talent, Gary West, Christopher Rank of real. simple. photos., Krystle Nguyen of Tasty Chomps, Rachel Vasquez of Rachel V Photography, Brion Price of Brion Price Photography, Justin Martin, and Kevin Graham of DSW Foto. Thank you to the many, many more who offer your time, your talent, and your heart to a cause close to all of our hearts!

Click here to read the entire press release.

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