QUICK DISCLOSURE: I’m thrilled to once again be working with the Orlando-based team that is putting together Taste of the Nation 2013, as I have for the last few years. I help promote and cover the fundraising party in exchange for discounted-price tickets. As I think you’ll see if you read through my past posts, I love this organization, I love the event and do my very best to bring attention to an extremely worthy cause. You can check out my full disclosure policy here, of course.
I have two words for you, folks.
(Catch up on past event recaps below.)
- Eating Around the Nation…In High Heels (2009)
- Making a Delicious Difference (2010)
- We Are One Tasty Nation (2011)
- Taste of the Nation: Pregnant Edition (2012)
S’mores on sticks.
Sangria (lots of sangria, ahem).
And shock of all shocks…a date night(ish) with my husband! (He was working as a vendor in addition to being my food wingman.)
That’s right…this was a big enough event that I brought in a babysitter for the very first time.
And I got really lucky because so many of my favorite people were in attendance as well.
Here’s the thing. The food is amazing. The drinks are amazing. The venue is amazing.
The need for an event like this? …is shocking.
There’s always a weird feeling in my stomach and heart as I stuff my face with delicious and unlimited food, wearing a fancy dress and living the high life. Because the people who benefit from the money raised don’t have those luxuries. Hunger — especially childhood hunger — is just such a devastating thing and the idea that people across America are having to choose between food and gas or clothes or daycare or other basic needs just crushes me.
This event (and those around the country) raises money for local charities, and here in Florida, the need is huge:
17 million – that’s 1 in 4 – American children struggle with hunger. 637,000 of these children live in Florida. Many of them live right down the street.
We helped raise $245,000 for local charities, and that feels great. Because I work with this organization year-round (I can’t wait to take Audrey as a tiny Second Harvest Food Bank volunteer some day the way my friend Jackie did with her daughter!), I know that this is just one way they make a delicious difference.
Speaking of delicious…I did sneak one of the flying cupcakes into my bag for the next day’s breakfast. And it, too, was amazing.
See you next year!