Soiree raises over $200K to feed S. Florida’s hungry

Pictured (l-r) are Chef Allen Susser, Feeding South Florida event co-chair and honorary board member; Anthea Pennant, Feeding South Florida’s director of external affairs; Maria R. Millares, Feeding South Florida board president and Come Together event co-chair, and Terry Zarikian, director of product development China Grill Management and Come Together event co-chair.

Approximately 450 people gathered at Feeding South Florida’s (formerly Daily Bread Food Bank) “Come Together” evening event on Jan. 12 to join the fight against hunger.

More than $200,000 was raised through event proceeds and sponsorships to benefit Feeding South Florida, a not-for-profit organization that feeds South Florida’s hungry in order to improve their lives. “Come Together” also celebrated Feeding South Florida’s 30th anniversary. Conducted at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami, “Come Together” featured chefs from some of South Florida’s top restaurants who prepared delicious fare, spirits, incredible artwork, and live entertainment by Fernando Britos and his trio as well as the musical group “Smiling Gums.” Each attendee left with a gift bag from Neiman Marcus including specialty beauty items, a Smiling Gums CD and toffee created by Chocolate4Charity.

Participating restaurants were Asia de Cuba, Chef Allen’s Burger Bar, China Grill Miami, China Grill Ft. Lauderdale, City Hall The Restaurant, Egg & Dart, Makoto Bal Harbour, Mercadito, Ortanique on the Mile, Scarpetta Miami, The Biltmore, The Forge, 1500°, Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering, and Sugarsweet Dreams Cake Company.

“Come Together” 2012 event chairs were Maria R. Millares, president of the board of directors for Feeding South Florida; Chef Allen Susser, and Terry Zarikian of China Grill Management and New York’s City Harvest.

Event sponsors included JM Family Enterprises Inc., Millares & Company, Andes Chemical Corporation, Atlantic Biologicals, Barkins Endodontic Group, Deering Bay Women’s Tennis Association, ETC Miami Beach, Global Village Charitable Trust, Loyola Asset Management and Sabadell United Bank.

In-kind sponsors were The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, VSBrooks Advertising, Panache Party Rentals, Le Basque, Bacardi USA, Southern Wine & Spirits, Shutterbox Photo Booth, VOSS Water, Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, Nespresso, Pro Translating, Bacsh Jewelers, and Chocolate4Charity. “The 2012 ‘Come Together’ event was an amazing success,” Millares said. “From the delicious fare to the entertainment to the amount we raised to help feed the many individuals in South Florida experiencing food insecurity, we are very pleased with every aspect of the event.”

Individuals and corporations are Feeding South Florida’s main sources of financial support. For every dollar donated, seven lifesaving pounds of food and grocery items are provided.

In South Florida alone, 936,000 individuals are food insecure; 36 percent of those served are children. In 2011, Feeding South Florida provided more than 30 million pounds of food to over 700 agencies throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Recently, Feeding South Florida’s agencies are reporting a 39 percent increase in the demand for food services, due to the current economic climate.

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