This past Sunday, April 2, marked the second Feed the Need tasting event, benefiting The River Food Pantry.
Back in 2015, the Madison Originals board of directors were in discussion about their desire for our organization to do more to help and connect with our community, and for the restaurants in our organization to find ways to collaborate with one another. We decided a good starting point would be to find one local charity to partner with, and for that cause to be our primary 2016 focus. The more we talked, the more we realized it would make sense if this cause had some kind of food or hunger-related component. Also, we wanted to work with an organization that was big enough to make a difference in our community, but small enough that the impact our small organization made would be felt.
By luck and happenstance, The River Food Pantry was planning their 10 year anniversary celebration at the same time. We invited them to a board meeting at the Daisy Cafe, and came away from it excited and motivated. What was meant to be a one-year, one-off event just celebrated its second year, and we hope it's just the beginning of bringing awareness and much needed funds to Madison's busiest food pantry.
This year, nineteen Madison Originals members got together to donate their time, food, drinks, and talents, all in the name of stopping hunger. Participants included Imperial Garden, Manna Cafe & Bakery, Banzo, Lombardino's, Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery, Essen Haus, Ian's Pizza, Brasserie V, Bonfyre American Grille, The Old Fashioned, Charlie's on Main, Liliana's, The Roman Candle Pizzeria, Nitty Gritty, Sprecher's Pub, Porta Bella, Wollersheim Winery & Distillery, Yahara Bay Distillery, and J.Henry & Sons Bourbon.
Here's a look at the mouth-watering menus they put together:
Madison Originals member Dotty Dumpling's Dowry, along with National Guardian Life, stepped up as presenting sponsors.
Sarah and Rachael of Dotty Dumpling's Dowry take a break from volunteering at The River Food Pantry to pose with the Feed the Need mascot Phillup Fork.
Besides the great food and drinks, there was plenty of fun to go around! There was a photo booth featuring Feed the Need mascot Phillup Fork and a new human-size spoon, a wine pull, and two 50/50 raffles. (Both 50/50 raffle winners donating their prize money back to The River! How's that for generosity?)
Preparing for the wine pull
Madison Originals members donated over $900 in gift cards and other gifts for the live auction Madison Originals gift basket, which went for $1,450 to the highest bidder!
Thank you to the generous restaurants in our group! Your donations resulted in $1,450 more going to The River Food Pantry!
Special guest Kyle Cherek of Emmy Award-winning Wisconsin Foodie did a great job as host and auctioneer.
Expressively You portrait artist Lindsey LaPlant was onsite, creating her expressive portraits of event attendees.
Artist Lindsey LaPlant of Expressively You (our newest associate member!) presents special guest Kyle Cherek with an Expressive Portrait.
Beer was provided by Ale Asylum.
This year's event took place at Madison College's beautiful, new, state-of-the art culinary space at the Truax campus. This was the first culinary event in Madison College's new space. Forty-four students and three alumni helped with the event, assisting Madison Originals chefs with all aspects of the day's work, from hauling food and supplies in and out, to prepping and serving food.
Madison College culinary students show off their homemade orange soda.
There was great live music from local musicians! Sortin' the Mail, Erin Krebs Duo, and Cliff Frederiksen all did a super job entertaining the crowd.
Sortin' the Mail entertains the crowd
Throughout the planning process, our associate members and partners stepped up to discount or donate their time, advertising space, supplies, and funds, along with helping to spread awareness about this event, making it even more successful than last year! From shuttle rides to paper plates, on-air ads to prizes for giveaways, social media shout-outs and everything in between, their collective support made a big impact! Please help us recognize everyone at Madison Essentialsmagazine, BRAVA magazine, the Greater Madison Convention and Visitor's Bureau, NBC15, Madisonmagazine, Complete Office of Wisconsin, Boardman & Clark, Midwest Family Broadcasting, CityTins, Dane Buy Local, Isthmus, The Edgerton Reporter, Towns & Associates, and Union Cab! Thank you all, along with everyone else on the Feed the Need planning committee and within our community who helped make this event a success.
To view a complete list of our associate members, click here:
Finally, thanks to everyone who attended Feed the Need! Your generous support netted over $40,000 for The River Food Pantry, beating this year's $35,000 goal by $5,000! WOW!
This is enough money to provide meals for pantry shoppers for three months!
Check out The River Food Pantry's blog, here, for more details and a complete list of sponsors.
If you would like to volunteer at The River Food Pantry, make a donation to them, or need assistance from them, contact them today.
Madison Originals is all about Local Flavor!
Click here to see a list of all the local, iconic, independently-owned restaurants in the Madison Originals organization:
Scroll down, below, to check out photos from the event.
Be sure to also check out these amazing professional photos, here, taken by Althea Dotzour Photography.