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Calling all chili chefs in the Heartland Lakes area

It’s time for teams, individuals, businesses, civic organizations and church groups to sign up for the Chili Challenge. All proceeds go to the Hubbard County Food Shelf.

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With the help of 22 creative chili chefs and a generous community, the 12th Chili Challenge returns to Park Rapids.

After a two-year hiatus, it’s time for teams, individuals, businesses, civic organizations and church groups to sign up for the friendly competition. All are invited to cook a pot of chili and work the crowd to raise money. All proceeds go to the Hubbard County Food Shelf.

This year's Chili Challenge is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 at the Park Rapids American Legion.

Hungry lunch-goers will enjoy a wide variety of chili, ranging from sweet and mild to hot and spicy. Tasters donate one dollar per cup of chili. Each dollar equals a vote – and ballot box stuffing will be encouraged.

The chili chef or team to raise the most money earns top honors.

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In 2020, the Chili Challenge raised more than $12,000 for the Hubbard County Food Shelf.

Calvary Lutheran Church was the top fundraising entrant at a whopping $3,073.

It’s the food shelf’s largest fundraiser.

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.

Cash and food donations throughout the month boost the Hubbard County Food Shelf’s leverage for receiving additional funding.

Chili Challenge registration forms are available at the Park Rapids Enterprise office, located at 1011 First St. E, Suite 6, Park Rapids. Those interested in signing up should do it soon, as space is limited. For more information, call Jean Ruzicka at 218-652-4311.

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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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