More than 2,500 guests filled the massive event tent at Westworld of Scottsdale on Super Bowl Eve to partake in the 24th annual Party with a Purpose®, making the Taste of the NFL easily one of the highlights of the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIX.
The annual fundraising event brought together prominent chefs and exceptional cuisine from around the country, former NFL greats, coaches, legends, celebrities and GRAMMY® award-winning country group, Little Big Town, all in an effect to support the fight against hunger. Adam Richman, food expert and star of The Travel Channel’s Man v Food program, was this year’s national culinary host for the Taste of the NFL. He presided over the evening alongside acclaimed actress, Alyssa Milano, who served as national celebrity spokesperson. Miss America, Kira Kazantsev, also took the stage to use her influence in the cause to fight hunger.
While the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were preparing to do battle the next day, 40 chefs unfolded their own culinary game plan at the Party with a Purpose®, serving everything from hand-rolled potato gnocchi to slow-braised Ohio bacon to bison ravioli. Long-time event partner E&J Gallo made certain that the outstanding cuisine was enjoyed with their finest wines.
All 32 NFL markets, including various local restaurants, provided award-winning chefs and partnering NFL legends at food stations scattered throughout the 148,000 sq. ft. party venue. The sale of NFL helmets and various sports and Hollywood memorabilia, and a raffle for a diamond and emerald necklace, all combined to the money – and meals - raised for food banks throughout the United States. Every dollar raised allows food banks to distribute up to eight meals into their communities.
“We were very proud to represent our Patriots as they bring home yet another Lombardi Trophy from the Super Bowl, but more importantly, we were excited to have raised money and awareness for food banks like the Greater Boston Food Bank,” said Steve DiFillippo of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. Food banks in every NFL market will receive proceeds from this year’s Party with a Purpose®.
“On behalf of the Taste of the NFL, a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in this year’s event, particularly our amazing chefs. Thanks to their ongoing, tireless efforts, we are able to continue the fight against the growing hunger epidemic in this country,” said Taste of the NFL Founder and Executive Director Wayne Kostroski. “We’re most grateful for the help of everyone involved, including our dedicated sponsors and the host City of Scottsdale, in allowing us to generate six million additional meals for food banks across the country.”
Kostroski said plans are well-underway for next year’s event in San Francisco, which will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Party with a Purpose ®. “It will be a golden and silver-themed week as the NFL and the Taste of the NFL celebrate their 50th and 25th anniversaries, respectively, and you can bet that all our fundraising records will be broken.”
Fans are encouraged to support Taste of the NFL’s mission to end hunger by donating to their favorite NFL team’s fundraising page online at kickhungerchallenge.com. The deadline for this season’s donations is Friday, Feb. 13. One hundred percent of donations made to a team’s individual page will be distributed to the team’s local food bank partner.
ABOUT TASTE OF THE NFL
Since 1992, the Taste of the NFL (a 501c3 organization) has rallied the country's top chefs and the NFL's greatest players to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States. To date, Taste of The NFL’s programs and events have distributed more than $22 million to help feed the 37 million Americans who have turned to their local food banks for assistance. The season long efforts culminate each year with the Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose®. Company support for this year's 24th anniversary Party With a Purpose® includes E & J Gallo, Low T Centers, City of Scottsdale, Valley GMC Dealers, American Family Insurance, Scottsdale CVB, Arizona-based AVNET, Tommy Bahama, PepsiCo and Mexico Tourism.
ABOUT KICK HUNGER CHALLENGE
The Kick Hunger Challenge is an online-only fundraising campaign spearheaded by Taste of the NFL, (www.TasteoftheNFL.com). This friendly “competition” pits fans from all 32 NFL teams against each other to raise money for food banks in NFL communities nationwide. Throughout the 2014-15 football season, fans will have the opportunity to support one of the 32 NFL teams and directly impact the donation of thousands of meals to food banks in their team’s community. Fans are encouraged to support Taste of the NFL’s mission to end hunger by donating to their favorite NFL team’s fundraising page online at kickhungerchallenge.com. The deadline for this season’s donations is Friday, Feb. 13. One hundred percent of donations made to a team’s individual page will be distributed to the team’s local food bank partner.
ABOUT ST. MARY’S FOOD BANK ALLIANCE
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the world’s first food bank is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to the hungry. Serving two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties, the organization is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. A member of Feeding America, which is a network of more than 200 member food banks, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance distributed almost 70 million pounds of food in fiscal year 2012-2013 to families and individuals. See more at firstfoodbank.org.