Every week, we seem to be reading the same kinds of stories about hunger in our area. Demand is increasing while supplies are going down. Just today, there’ s an article in the Daily Journal about a pantry in Millville that is simply running out of food. They are facing the choice between giving out less and less to each person and having to stop altogether.
We don’t regularly point out these article to sensationalize suffering. This is reality in our area under these hard economic conditions. People who used to be able to donate food and/or money to local food banks are now themselves having to depend on them for their survival. It’s getting harder and harder for people to make the donations needed to keep the food banks running.
So…what can we do? Well, we seem to be liking the daily restaurant deals that can be founf on places like Groupon and Daily Deals. What it you could combine getting a great restaurant deal with making a contribution to a local food bank?
Say hello to 3 Square Deals!
Deborah Smith (of Jersey Bites fame) is a fountain of ideas, but I was really excited when she talked to me about this concept she has been working on with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Real simple: deals will be offered through 3 Square Deals (either daily or weekly), and a portion of what you spend for the deal will be contributed towards the Community FoodBank (with other food banks sure to come on board down the road).
It’s looking like the official launch will be happening in January, and you can keep up with any updates by going to the website and signing up.
Is there stuff going on this weekend? Nope – nothing happening. You can just stop reading now.
Oh alright – I can’t resist those puppy dog eyes you collectively make.
Saturday is loaded, plain and simple. If you’re an early riser, you got the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival at 9AM (Sunday, too!). If you wait an hour, just in case you were swimming or something, there’s AppleFest at John Wesley Gandy Farmstead in Greenfield, Columbus Cultural Festa at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, and Rea’s Harvest Country Fair at Rea’s Farm in West Cape May.
If you need a little more sun to be up in the sky, there’s the Harvest Wine Festival at Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House from 12PM to 5PM.
For you nightcrawlers out there, there’s the Fall Hearthside Dinner at Gibbon House on Ye Greate Street in Greenwich, Food Film Fest at the Ashley-McCormick Center in Bridgeton, and the Sunset Wine Lovers Cruise aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. All three start at 6PM.
Your Oktoberfest need can still be filled this weekend. On Saturday, enjoy Oktoberfest at Earl E. Owens Park in Monroe Twp from 10AM to 2PM, or, wait until 7PM and enjoy Oktoberfest at the Woodbury Train Station for $35 a person. Saturday and Sunday is the Oktoberfest celebration at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, and the AC Country Club is throwing an Oktober German Beer Festival on Sunday from 11AM to 3PM.
And peeking ahead to Monday, there’s An Evening of Hope – A Taste of the Jersey Shore at the Woodlake Country Club on New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood. Tickets are $40 at the door, and the proceeds from this evening go to The HOPE Center. The HOPE Center helps the homeless in Ocean County.
Here’s your cooking class schedule for the weekend:
Saturday: Children’s Open Hearth Cooking at Hancock House in Hancock’s Bridge, French Dinner Party at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, Date Nights at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, Holiday Candy Making at The Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College in Mount Holly, Date Night in Paris at In the Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, AND Oktoberfest! at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown. Also, a series of classes on Fundamentals of Fine Cooking I at The Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College starts on Saturday.
Blogging Out Hunger
A Cheerful Giver candle company in Elmer is having an open house and carnival tomorrow. Your $1 admission will go to the Food bank of South Jersey.
Clayton schoolkids, in partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey, have started a food distribution program for local residents.
And in the news this week…
Big boffo local chef news: Willingboro’s own (and Top Chef winner) Kevin Sbarga’s new place is opening tomorrow in Philly, and Philly’s own Mark Vetri may be opening a place at the Moorestown Mall in the near future.
More big boffo local chef news: Ed Battaglia (of Hell’s Kitchen fame) has left Ralic’s Steakhouse after only four months. Taking over for him will be sous chef and local resident Keith Laskowski. Check out a video of the new chef.
And the Carriage House Tearoom & Cafe in Cape May will be closing for the season at the end of this month, citing difficult economic conditions. Let’s hope that they can be open for 2010.
Have a great weekend!