Chili Challenge seeks chefs for 8th annual event
The challenge is set as local cooks will soon square off over simmering pots of chili. The 8th annual Chili Challenge is Wednesday, March 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Park Rapids American Legion. The annual event, sponsored by the Enterprise, hel...
The challenge is set as local cooks will soon square off over simmering pots of chili.
The 8th annual Chili Challenge is Wednesday, March 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Park Rapids American Legion. The annual event, sponsored by the Enterprise, helps kick off local fundraising for the Hubbard County Food Shelf.
March is Minnesota FoodShare Month where the state allocates funds to food shelf organizations based on local efforts. It's not a matching fund but the state looks at how much is raised locally and allocations are based on a funding formula.
Last year's Chili Challenge raised over $12,000 for the food shelf.
Chili Chefs open up their pots as samplers donate one dollar per cup of chili. Each dollar equals a vote and ballot box stuffing is encouraged. The chili chef or team to raise the most money earns top honors. Last year the award went to Calvary Lutheran Church and it's "Minnesota State Fair Chili on a Stick." The team raised $2,535.
A People's Choice is also awarded where each person has the opportunity to cast one vote for their favorite chili.
The annual event attracts veteran chili chefs who describe their tasty concoctions with names like "Fires of Mount Doom," "Frostbite Fighter," "Bad Axe Chicken Chili," "Nuts and Bolts Chili," and "Hot on the Trail." A few spots remain to enter this year's Chili Challenge. To sign up contact Candy at the Enterprise, 732-3364.
Teams, individuals, businesses, civic organizations and church groups are invited to cook a pot of chili and work the crowd to raise money.
Bob Landrigan once again will provide a hand-carved wood loon and the Crazy Quilters have donated a quilt for the raffle.
The Hubbard County Food Shelf recently implemented a new registration system for people to access food. Under the old registration system those needing food assistance had to go through Mahube-Otwa or Hubbard County Social Services to receive a voucher. Clients now go directly to the food shelf to fill out paperwork for eligibility.
The Hubbard County Food Shelf operates with 100 percent unpaid volunteers, including director Bob Hansen. Every dollar donated is used for purchasing food, utilities and building maintenance.
Hansen said the staff has handled the new registration system well and clients appreciate the convenience of one stop. "We're pleased with the way things are going. The volunteers have been exceptional," Hansen said.
The food shelf served 1,305 families in November; 1,271 in December; 1,246 in January. Hansen also reports over a 12 month period the food shelf served 14,000 individuals (including repeat visits) and distributed 401,000 pounds of food.