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The Suburbanite
  • Taste of NFL fights hunger at Hall of Fame

  • The NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame teamed up in the Fifth Annual Taste of NFL fundraiser at the hall.

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  •  One in four children in Stark County lives in poverty. Canton’s poverty rate is 27 percent of us, reports the U.S. Census.
    Life got a little better around here Tuesday night as the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame teamed up in the Fifth Annual Taste of NFL fundraiser at the hall.
     “Our economy is not recovering fast enough, and the number of people we serve continues to grow,” said Dan Flowers, CEO of the food bank that supplies hunger stations in eight counties including Stark.
    “We hoped to raise $150,000 for 600,000 meals,” said Michelle Hinton, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s director of external affairs.
    “I think we beat our goal,” said Lara Wilson, co-chair of the event. Some 500 attendees spent $100 to $250 for tickets plus participated in a Kiko auction of donated items, including a Glenmoor Country Club dinner and spa stay for $2,100.
    Nine Hall of Famers signed helmets and balls for eager autograph hunters.
    THE WINNER
    Voted tops among the 23 chefs  feeding the crowd was Benjamin Walsh and his crew from Wooster Inn.
    “We don’t know what we’re getting into,” he laughed. They will serve in the executive food tent of the 2014 Super Bowl in New York City. His specialty Tuesday night was braised short ribs and collard greens.
    THE FOOD
    Long lines formed in front of the food tables, ranging from stuffed mushrooms and handmade ravioli from Gervasi Vineyard to lobster fritters from Hudson Restaurant in Montrose and Hudson and Baja Pizzafish’s mahi mahi fish tacos.
    Angie and Drew Lipold voted for the tacos. “They’re fantastic,” she said. “This really takes a lot of work.”
    Joe Halter fell in love with Glenmoor’s Muffuletta  sandwiches. “Absolutely excellent.” He went back for one more before leaving.
    Last year the organization raised a record $850,000 and collected 117,000 pounds of food translating into 2.6 million meals. This provided 57,000 meals daily to local families facing hunger. The food bank operates from a central warehouse in Akron and is manned by 2,000 volunteers throughout the system.