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Iron Hill Brewery chefs, culinary students help kick off Blue Jean Ball

If you missed the Food Bank of Delaware’s 12th Annual Blue Jean Ball on Saturday, you missed a lot. it was nothing short of fun, and it lasted all night long for a very worthy cause.

It was all fun, laughter, great food, and of course scary costumes, and it all happened on Saturday October 22, 2017 at the future site of Food Bank of Delaware located at 222 Lake Drive in Newark. The new location sits right off of Route 896 in Newark. Kim Turner, the communications director, led the decorating committee in transforming the vast space into a welcoming but scary party venue utilizing a Halloween theme. The event was presented by Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“It was another successful Blue Jean Ball,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “It was great to see so many new and familiar faces, and we certainly couldn’t have pulled off the event without the support of our presenting sponsor, Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. The team of chefs worked so hard to make sure our meal was executed perfectly with the assistance from our culinary students. We are already looking forward to next year!”

Iron Hill’s team of chefs, and students from the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School presented a Fall harvested small plate menu. Prepared and served by the food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary students. The Iron Hill team of Chefs assisted culinary students with kitchen prep, cooking, organizing food stations, and executing plate presentations.

“The food was not only tasty, but abundant, starting with passed hors d’oeuvres”

This year, guests enjoyed a seasonal small plate menu that included vegetable risotto, Dijon marinated pork loin with stewed cannellini beans with bratwurst and sweet onions, fried Brussel sprouts with bacon and apple cider vinaigrette and pork jus lie, shrimp, chicken and andouille jambalaya, and garlic and herb-roasted beef tenderloin with cauliflower and potato gratin and mushroom-tarragon sauce. New item this year was an ice cream sundae bar featuring ice cream from the UDairy Creamery topped off the meal.

“It was a memorable experience for our culinary students to work alongside chefs from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant,” said Food Bank of Delaware Executive Chef Tim Hunter. “Providing students with memorable, hands-on experience that prepares them for their future careers in the food service industry is important for all of us at the Food Bank of Delaware. We are thankful that Iron Hill provides this opportunity for our students.”

In addition to the fine foods, beers, and wines, the evening had an amazing band performance with dancing, and singing all night long by Mike Hines and the Look. Mike Hines is a high energy dance band that plays R & B, hip hop, pop, old school funk, along with a small taste of motown and disco.

They are a six-piece band that always gets the crowd involved. They are the ultimate party band and when they play, nobody sits. In fact, Mike had people waving light sticks as the band rocked the warehouse.

This year’s top sponsors included Capitol One, Ent & Allergy of Delaware, The Danneman Firm, Delmarva Power, TD Bank Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, Giant, Porter Auto Group, and Shoprite. Other sponsors included Acme, Associates International, Chesapeake Utilities, Morris James, LLP, Neil, Out and About Magazine, RKD Alpha Dog, Syngenta, WSFS Bank, Anaconda Protective Services, Gordon Food Service, Waste Management, and Whitting Turner.

For $75.00 per person or a table of 10 for $750.00, you could have it all including a commemorative beer mug as you made entrance into the venue. Hors d’oeuvres was also served.

The annual fundraiser was created 12 years ago to bring awareness to and to combat Delaware’s hunger issues. It also helps fund Food Bank of Delaware programs.

Last year, over 80% of proceeds went towards the Food Bank of Delaware’s hunger relief programs. The programs include The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, the Backpack Program, School Pantries, Mobile Pantries, and Kid Chef.

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As a member of Feeding America, formerly America’s Second Harvest, the food Bank of Delaware is a statewide non-profit agency whose vision is a community free of hunger. The Food Bank of Delaware can be traced back to 1977 when Retha Fisher from food conservers, Inc., formed a food closet study committee at Westminster Presbyterian Church to help improve the church’s hunger relief efforts, and four years later, the name was changed to the Food Bank of Delaware.

In 2015, the Food Bank of Delaware received over 8 million pounds of food that was the result of over half a million food drives. In addition to the hard fund raising efforts, of the 8 million pounds of food received, the Food Bank of Delaware distributed 3,806,798 pounds of food in New Castle County, 1,690,289 pounds in Kent County, and 1,636,173 pounds of food in Sussex County.

The Food Bank of Delaware is also driven by partners such as food closets, soup kitchens, shelters, daycare’s, schools, and other non-profits that provide free food assistance to those in need. Last year, there was 575 hunger relief partners who received more than 916,000 visits from the food Bank of Delaware. Of the 575 partners, they distributed 1,244,041 pounds of meat and 2.2 million pounds of produce.

So, how do they do it? well, most nonprofits are supported by a staff of volunteers and the Food bank of Delaware is no exception. Last year alone, the Food Bank of Delaware was visited by 18, 217 volunteers who donated 46,123 hours which is the equivalent of 22 full time employees. The volunteers perform a number of tasks such as sorting donated foods, sorting and packing foods for various food programs including meals for children, meal boxes for families, seniors, and more.

The Food Bank of Delaware is the only facility in Delaware with the equipment, warehouse and staff to collect donations from all sectors of the food industry and safely and efficiently redistribute them to those who need it most. The Food Bank of Delaware also recognize the need to provide programs that give low-income people the skills needed to earn a living wage so that they no longer have to rely on support from agencies like us.

Want to give back? The Food Bank of Delaware is the place to start

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