Westport Farmers’ Mkt Wrangles Food for the Needy @ Foodie Fest!

Lori Cochran

Feast on this, Fairfield County foodies! The Westport Farmers’ Market has joined the Gillespie Center/Homes With Hope and Norwalk-based food rescue organization, Community Plates, to create a charitable event of epicurean proportions during Westport’s upcoming Foodie Fest created by the Downtown Merchants Association (DMA).

October 27, day two of the Foodie Fest, WFM, SHSC and Gillespie Center will unite to create a crack culinary team that will host a sale of local flavors at the Gillespie Center. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., area epicureans are invited to learn how to create delicious meals with seasonal ingredients, take home a tasty treat and support a good cause, because proceeds from the event will go to support the partnership program between WFM, SHSC and Gillespie Center.  

So, what’s any of this have to do with the Foodie Fest? A little history is in order here.

For the past several years the Westport Farmers Market (WFM) has spearheaded a program the Staples High School Culinary Team (SHSC) and the Gillespie Center. Once a month, the WFM raises funds to purchase food from the Thursday market and area farms, which is delivered to Chef Cecily Gans and her team of dedicated students. The following Friday, Chef Gans and her students use the food to make and serve a locally-sourced, lovingly prepared meal for recipients at the Gillespie Center. Which is served by the SHSC and WFM representatives.

Norwalk-based non-profit Community Plates will play the clean up role, working in conjunction with Foodie Fest to “rescue food for those without” during this three-day event, and deliver it via a team of dedicated volunteers to area shelters and food pantries, ensuring the food at Foodie Fest doesn’t go to waste.

Still hungry for more ways to help? Bring a food donation to the Gillespie Center event, or to the additional donation spot at the DMA Beer Garden on Veterans’ Green from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Homes with Hope assists people who have lost their ability to lead normal lives. Formerly known as the Interfaith Housing Association of Westport & Weston, Homes with Hope’s mission is to provide facilities and supportive services in a structured environment that enable homeless people in the communities we serve to achieve an independent and self-sufficient life. We will accomplish this through permanent supportive housing, casework and supportive services, emergency shelter, food and meals and the life skills training critical in preventing homelessness from reoccurring.

Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help feed those in need. This volunteer-driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other food-service organizations who have foods destined to be thrown away and delivers the food to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families.

The Downtown Westport Foodie Fest is a celebration of the culinary arts in delightful, delectable, downtown Westport, CT. The three day “menu” of events spotlights local culinary talent who will offer flavorful food, luscious libations, and ingenious instruction that you can use to enhance your own culinary creations. Splurge, enjoy and indulge in epicurean experiences, music, art and film while helping those in need. This event is brought to you by the Downtown Merchants Association of Westport. www.westportfoodiesfest.com

Westport Farmers’ Market: Real Food, Real Farmers!

For more information  www.westportfarmersmarket.com or email director@westportfarmersmarket.com.