World Food Championships and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida linked aprons today in an innovative partnership to bring together culinary food athletes and an organization that supports people living without food security.
“One in six people in America will struggle with hunger at some point during the year,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “The success of our mission depends entirely on partners like the World Food Championships that help us to close the hunger gap in Central Florida.”
Statistics on hunger in the Central Florida area mirror the national ones with residents turning to charitable feeding programs for help with food 3,731,700 times last year, averaging 71,600 times in a typical week.
Mike McCloud, CEO of World Food Championships, said that food athletes have always understood hunger. That’s why World Food Championships have chosen to donate all leftover pantry food products from each day of the Nov. 3-10 World Food Championships competitions to Second Harvest.
“Our partnership with Second Harvest is in our DNA,” he said. “From day one of WFC, we have always worked with local food banks and charities, so this relationship is important to us as a culinary event. More importantly, it is a relationship that the competitors, judges and spectators feel very strongly about.”
The partnership between Second Harvest and WFC goes beyond food donations. It includes a Kick-Off Dinner hosted by Second Harvest’s award winning Chef, Israel Santiago, who, along with graduates of his culinary school, will host The Second Chance Dinner to further benefit Second Harvest on Nov 2.
Chef Santiago will also provide demonstrations at the Sizzle Spot during the competition dates of the WFC. He’ll show how to create innovative and amazing recipes with items often available through a food bank.
Krepcho explained that Second Harvest operates a culinary training program that offers people the opportunity for job security in the culinary industry.
“Chef Santiago is an amazingly creative instructor and has led many students into a new career,” Krepcho said.
The Grand Champion of the World Food Championships competition will be crowned on Tuesday, Nov 10, after which WFC and Second Harvest will host a Grand Tasting Awards dinner. Tickets for that event are available at the WFC website wordfoodchampionships.com/tickets.
During that dinner, Second Harvest will offer a silent auction. The proceeds of that auction will benefit the scholarship program at the Second Harvest Culinary School.
About World Food Championship: The World Food Championships is the largest competition in food sport, where champions of previous events convene in Kissimmee, Florida, for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of $300,000. The World Food Championships platform ranges from live-event integration and acivations to a robust multimedia platform that serves culinary stars, home cooks, brands and destinations. In three short years, WFC has awarded more than $1 million in prizes and money, spawned a TV series, garnered more than 5 billion media impressions and launched numerous professional careers for successful contestants.
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