Thursday, May 18 may have been an ordinary spring day for some, but for Northern Illinois Food Bank’s team it was a day full of nerves, setup, and excitement as the sixth annual A Taste that Matters culinary event unfolded. Under the crystal chandeliers and colorful lights of the Grand Ballroom at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, nearly 1000 guests from over 140 companies were united in their passion for giving back to the community.
Attendees kicked off the night with a toast, sampled a variety of dishes from more than 30 local restaurants and chefs including everything from fresh paella and sushi to meats and cheeses, and concluded the night by placing their final bids on the numerous silent auction raffle items. Overall, it was an extravagant night that brought the community together to benefit hungry neighbors across Northern Illinois.
Thanks to our partnership with BidPal, guests were able to view raffles and bid directly from their phones! With prizes such as autographed jerseys, sports tickets and exotic getaways, bidders were able to treat themselves while also raising money to feed our hungry neighbors.
As the event grows each year, so does the impact it has on our mission here at the Food Bank. This year’s Taste event was the largest ever in our Food Bank’s history, with more than 1,000 tickets sold and raising more than $436,000 – equivalent to more than $3.4 million in groceries for our hungry neighbors.
It is only through the endless generosity and support of our sponsors, supporters, and community that we are able to grow this event and the reach of our organization to continue our mission of solving hunger across our 13 counties of Northern Illinois.
A Taste That Matters would not be possible without the generous donations and efforts of all our sponsors and volunteers. Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Jewel-Osco, and all our vendor sponsors for providing delicious food for our attendees, including:
Antico Posto • Bacardi • Blount • Carlucci’s • Cooper’s Hawk • Drury Lane • Eli’s Cheesecake • Emilio’s Tapas • Five Generation Bakers • Glen Prairie • Goya • Hanson Faso • Hess • Kasia’s Pierogi • La Preferida • Meson Sabika • Miss Dottie’s Pound Cake • Moet Hennessy • Northern Illinois Food Bank • Redstone Grill • Revolution Foods • Sargento • Social Sparkling Wine • SoothSayer • Tito’s • Turano • Wildire • Dietz and Watson
And of course, thank you to our special events team, staff and volunteers for all their hard work and dedication to making this event the most successful one yet!
Missed this year’s A Taste That Matters? No worries! The Food Bank hosts a variety of events each year that YOU can be a part of!
Sports or special events not your style? The Food Bank is always looking for more volunteers at all three of our centers in Geneva, Park City, and Rockford – help sort and repack food for distribution to our hungry neighbors, or become a skills-based volunteer! To learn more about available and upcoming volunteering opportunities, please visit our website at SolveHungerToday.org/Volunteer.