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A Taste of the Town – Scrumptious Food Fundraisers

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1. Soup’s On The soup fundraising dinner is a popular church and community center charity event. Just bring a spoon and bowl, and dish up some hot, delicious ladles of homemade soup. Many church groups will do this sort of fundraiser once a month to help the soup kitchen, or a charity that focuses on helping the less fortunate. You can either ask for a set price per bowl, or let donors contribute what they can—oftentimes the latter works better. To mix it up a bit, if you’re hosting this event on a regular basis, offer themed soup days such as soup and salad bar, a chicken soup for the soul day, spicy chili day, and maybe even throw in a soup and sundae bar. You can also sell soup mixes and stock to make extra funds for your charity. 2. Potluck Fundraiser These dinners are easy on the organizer and volunteers because individuals only have to contribute one dish each. The potluck fundraiser is accessible to everyone. Potluck dinners bring to life an old tradition that has people getting together and sharing food without putting a costly burden on the host. With potlucks, everyone shares in the cooking. Ask guests to each bring a dish i.e. an appetizer, a main course, a salad, a side dish, a dessert, a fruit platter, or a cheese and cracker tray. This style of dining is especially appealing to groups that cater to a variety of cultures. You can ask for donations through admission fees, or you can share food and then collect charity funds by selling the recipes, or a book of recipes of the food dishes offered. 3.Dress your Potato Bar Mr. Potato Head sure enjoyed a good dress up day. Try tempting your guests with an all-you-can-eat potato bar for your next dinner fundraiser. This is another charity event that’s easy on your volunteers because it requires minimum preparation. All you need are baked potatoes, and a wide variety of fixings. Some popular options are salsa, chili, sour cream, shredded cheese, butter, bacon bits, steamed broccoli, chives, grilled mushrooms and onions, hot peppers and diced ham. If your fundraiser is for kids, consider setting up a craft station with potato carving tools, and fixings in fun shapes. You can even judge the best dressed potato and offer prizes. You can charge per potato or per admission if this is an all-you-can-eat affair. 4. Barbecue Grill Off Come summer, the smell of the barbecue has everyone’s mouths watering which is why a barbecue contest is a great reason to fire up the grills and break out your best barbecue tools.  Host a barbecue contest and ask guests to judge the top grill skills or best dish preparation. Create various grilling categories—best grilled meats, vegetables, and best sauces. Make your charity funds through an entry fee or you can charge hungry donors by the plate. And my personal favorite… 5. Blue Plate Special This fundraiser puts a hilarious, retro twist on the food fundraiser. The blue plate fundraiser has guests bidding for their dinner. Meals are prepared by volunteers ahead of time and can be a simple scrambled egg breakfast, meatloaf, shepherd’s pie, or more adventurous fare such as lobster, shrimp cocktail, or surf and turf. It is up to each volunteer to decide what to bring. Each meal is covered to conceal its identity, and guests bid on the secret meals. You will also need a food warmer to keep dinners hot until the bidding begins. The key is to use a talented emcee, who can keep people guessing as to whether it is a fancy meal or not. You can set the price at whatever you like, but $25 is typical (depending on what it cost to make the plate). COMMUNITY FOOD FUNDRAISER EVENTS Shiloh Baptist Fish and Chicken Dinner Location: Shiloh Baptist Church, 920 Meadow Street Time: 11am to 2:30pm, Friday, March 10, 2011 The Church of the Holy Trinity Lenten Fine Arts Series Location: The Church of the Holy Trinity, South and Monroe Streets Time: 5pm to 7pm Arts show by Patricia Walker Wine and Cheese reception will accompany the show Oakland Baptist Bake Sale Location: Super Junior on Oak Ridge Road Time: 6am until goods run out, Saturday, March 11, 2011 Proceeds will help in funding the youth church camp]]]]> ]]>

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