Packed house caps food bank's Italian Fest
HUNTINGTON -- For Cyndi Kirkhart, the new director of the Facing Hunger Foodbank, a packed house at a huge fundraiser was a good way to start things out.
"It's certainly a nice way to cap my first week off," she said, sitting at a table on the second floor of La Famiglia restaurant on 6th Avenue. "It's a nice energy to step into."
Kirkhart replaces Tiffany Tatum, who stepped down Aug. 1 to run her own business.
The first and second floors, and the porch and yard of the restaurant were full for the main event of a new festival the food bank has rolled out called Italian Fest.
It began with a cooking class with Rocco Muriale of Rocco's on Saturday, and a $150 per plate "Taste of Southern Italy" and wine tasting at La Famiglia was offered Sunday night.
"We couldn't have done this without (restaurant owner) Ralph Hagy and Galaxy Distributing," said Debra Johnson-Tourigny, president of the food bank's board of directors. "I'll be honest, we had a fancy dinner, we charged a little bit more than I wanted to charge at $150 a ticket -- that's kind of pricey -- but we sold 99.9 percent of the tickets."
The event comes one weekend before the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival in Clarksburg, which has been around for 36 years.
"What we want is an Italian festival for this community every year," Johnson-Tourigny said. "We want to have our own Italian heritage festival; the food bank, we want to own this. This is our teaser this year with a cooking class and tonight's dinner."
Facing Hunger Foodbank has served 2,455,528 meals so far this year, according to the nonprofit's website.
About Facing Hunger Foodbank
To learn more about how to help at Facing Hunger Foodbank, visit facinghunger.org or call 304-523-6029 ext. 26.
The website includes a list of which foods are most needed for various programs provided by the food bank.
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